Cardiac arrhythmias in cardiothoracic surgery

Vincent R. Conti, David L. Ware

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Most patients with cardiopulmonary disease are predisposed to develop perioperative arrhythmias with the individual patient risk depending upon the type of operative procedure performed, the risk profile of the patient, and the complexity of the post-operative course. There are several management options that may tend to prevent perioperative arrhythmias that should be considered in certain patient subsets. Most important of these is the use of beta-blocker therapy before and after operation in patients with coronary risks factors undergoing non-cardiac thoracic procedures and in patients having coronary artery bypass grafting. The common supraventricular arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation and flutter, multifocal atrial tachycardia, and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia must be properly diagnosed and treated appropriately. Placement of atrial pacing wires for use after open cardiac surgery is of great value both for diagnosis, and in some cases, for treatment of arrhythmias. Fortunately, serious life threatening ventricular arrhythmias occurs less commonly but the clinician must recognize and correct important predisposing factors and know how to treat these when they occur. A specific protocol for arrhythmia management that sets guidelines for drug choice and therapies for each of the common arrhythmias is useful for clinicians and adds predictability to patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-460
Number of pages22
JournalChest Surgery Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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