Atrial arrhythmias after lung transplantation

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14 Scopus citations


Atrial arrhythmias are a common complication after lung transplant (LT), occurring in about 16–46% of LT patients early postoperatively, and in about 14% during longer-term follow-up. They have a significant impact on postoperative in-hospital length of stay and may have an impact on overall mortality. In this report, we review the incidence and risk factors of post lung transplant AA, their pathogenesis and their impact on short- and long-term outcomes. Pharmacological management options are reviewed. In brief, early atrial arrhythmias tend to be mostly atrial fibrillation and are treated acutely with a rate control strategy followed if needed by rhythm control for 4–6 weeks. Late atrial arrhythmias >6 months after LT tend to be more frequently organized atrial flutters amenable to ablation therapy. Long-term anticoagulation is controversial especially in patients with bilateral lung transplant who received surgical pulmonic vein isolation, however anticoagulation is still favored especially in single LT patients. More studies are needed to further document the pathophysiology of early versus late atrial arrhythmias and whether long-term anticoagulation is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Atrial arrhythmias
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Lung transplant


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