Background: Observational studies have suggested that statins might reduce postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. However, a number of retrospective studies have shown equivocal results. We aimed to evaluate whether different statins can reduce the risk for AF at different doses. Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database for all published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effects of statin therapy on AF up to June 2016. A random-effects model was used when there was substantial heterogeneity. Results: Eighteen published studies that included 4003 statin-naive patients (2009 receiving satins and 1994 receiving regime) with sinus rhythm before cardiac surgeries were identified for inclusion in the analysis. Thirteen studies investigated the prevention of AF by atorvastatin, two studies investigated the prevention of AF by rosuvastatin, two studies investigated the prevention of AF by simvastatin, and one study investigated the prevention of AF by pravastatin. The remaining two studies compared the effects of different doses of atorvastatin on the prevention of AF in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Overall, statin therapy was associated with a significant decrease in the risk for AF (relative risk [RR]: 0.57, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.45–0.73, P = 0.000). However, subgroup analyses showed that only atorvastatin reduced the risk for new-onset AF in patients after cardiac surgery (RR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.41–0.69, P = 0.000). Patients undergoing CABG possibly received more benefits from statin therapy (RR: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.39–0.68).Statin therapy in a moderate dose may be optimal (RR: 0.42, 95% CI: 0.28–0.64). Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that statin therapy has an overall protective effect against postoperative AF, among which atorvastatin in a moderate dose was significantly associated with a decreased risk for new-onset AF in patients after CABG. Moreover, simvastatin may also exert a significant protective effect against the AF recurrences in patients undergoing cardiac surgeries; hence, further prospective studies are warranted.
Sai, C., Li, J., Ruiyan, M., & Yingbin, X. (2019). Atorvastatin prevents postoperative atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Hellenic Journal of Cardiology, 60(1), 40–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hjc.2017.12.012