CORTICOSTEROIDS IN PREVENTING ATRIAL FIBRILLATIONJari Halonen, M.D., of Kuopio University Hospital, and colleagues reported “Atrial fibrillation occurrence generally ranges from 20% to 40% after a coronary artery bypass graft and is even higher after valve and combined valve and bypass surgery”, in the April 11 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

This was taken in account and findings emerged that the rate of atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery, with its increased likelihood of stroke, fell from 48% to 30%, a reduced relative risk of 37%, when 241 patients were randomized to receive 100-mg hydrocortisone. In addition, patients received oral metoprolol titrated to heart rate too.

When we compared with the placebo patients, we found that the steroid patients did not have higher rates of post-op infections or other complications such as mediastinitis, stroke, myocardial infarction, conduction disturbances, or re-sternotomy caused by bleeding or any psychotic disorders occurred in either group.

Large trials were needed to confirm that corticosteroid treatment was a much beneficial method to keep a check on atrial fibrillation since they has an anti inflammatory activity.

Intravenous Hydrocortisone therapy for patients having cardiac surgery was effective and well tolerated in this study.