BACKGROUND: Survival in colorectal cancer may correlate with the degree of systemic inflammatory response to the tumour. Atrial fibrillation may be regarded as an inflammatory complication. We aimed to determine if atrial fibrillation is a prognostic factor in colorectal cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospective colorectal cancer patient database was cross-referenced with the hospital clinical-coding database to identify patients who had underwent colorectal cancer surgery and were in atrial fibrillation pre- or postoperatively. RESULTS: A total of 175 patients underwent surgery for colorectal cancer over a two-year period. Of these, 13 patients had atrial fibrillation pre- or postoperatively. Atrial fibrillation correlated with worse two-year survival (p = 0.04; log-rank test). However, in a Cox regression analysis, atrial fibrillation was not significantly associated with survival. CONCLUSION: The presence or development of atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer is associated with worse overall survival, however it was not found to be an independent factor in multivariate analysis.
Walsh, S. R., Gladwish, K. M., Ward, N. J., Justin, T. A., & Keeling, N. J. (2004). Atrial fibrillation and survival in colorectal cancer. World Journal of Surgical Oncology, 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7819-2-40