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01-02-2015 | Review Article | Uitgave 2/2015 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 2/2015

New-onset atrial fibrillation in sepsis is associated with increased morbidity and mortality

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 2/2015
MD Sumeet Gandhi, MD Dhanjit Litt, MD Neeraj Narula



The development of new-onset atrial fibrillation in sepsis has been associated with adverse outcomes.


A systematic literature search was conducted to retrieve articles that investigated the association of new-onset atrial fibrillation in patients diagnosed with sepsis. The primary outcome of interest was the pooled risk ratio (RR) of in-hospital mortality in patients with new-onset atrial fibrillation and sepsis.


Six studies included 3100 patients with new-onset atrial fibrillation in sepsis and 36,900 patients without new-onset atrial fibrillation in sepsis. The pooled RR for in-hospital mortality was 1.45 (95 % CI 1.32–1.60, p < 0.00001, I 2 = 24 %). New-onset atrial fibrillation was also associated with increased ICU mortality, ICU and in-hospital length of stay and stroke. New-onset atrial fibrillation occurred more in the elderly, those with a prior history of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and those with increased severity of illness.


Prospective randomised trials are needed to clarify the significance of new-onset atrial fibrillation in sepsis, optimal treatment strategies for these patients, and the benefit of systemic anticoagulation. Physicians should be aware that new-onset atrial fibrillation in sepsis is not merely an observed temporary arrhythmia but a marker of poor prognosis and should be managed accordingly.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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