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Purpose The effect of perioperative supplementation of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid (PUFA) on the frequency of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients without a history of AF was evaluated.
Methods A total of 561 patients were randomized to receive either 1 g of PUFA or placebo twice daily. Treatment was started up to five days before surgery or within 24 hours after surgery, depending on when consent was received. Treatment was continued until the patient’s follow-up visit with the cardiologist up to four weeks after surgery. The primary endpoint of the study was AF before hospital discharge. Secondary endpoints included AF within one week after surgery, AF within one month after surgery, length of hospital stay, postoperative bleeding complications, and readmission within one month after surgery.
Results No significant reduction in the risk of AF was observed at hospital discharge (relative risk [RR], 0.98; p = 0.922) or at three weeks after surgery (RR, 0.98; p = 0.844). After restricting the analysis to treatment-adherent patients, the association remained nonsignificant at hospital discharge (RR, 0.90; p = 0.374) and at three weeks after surgery (RR, 0.90; p = 0.330). No significant differences were observed between treatments for rates of readmission, death, and bleeding complications or the length of hospital stay.
Conclusion Perioperative supplementation with PUFA did not decrease the risk of AF in the immediate postoperative period. PUFA also had no effect on the length of hospital stay, postoperative bleeding complications, and readmissions within one month after surgery.
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