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Heart surgery patients benefit from pacing:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Two studies the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (May) have shown that atrial pacing can effectively reduce the incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients who have undergone cardiovascular surgery and shorten their stay in hospital. In one study, epicardial wire electrodes were applied to the atria of 96 patients who had undergone coronary bypass. 48 received pacing from an external pacemaker, while the others acted as controls. Atrial fibrillation occurred in 27% of the control patients, but in only 10% of the paced patients. The second study assessed 154 patients undergoing cardiac surgery who received pacing and beta-blockers or the drug alone. Only 17% of patients who received pacing experienced postoperative fibrillation versus 38% of those who did not.

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