Amiodarone is a cost-neutral way of preventing atrial fibrillation after surgery for lung cancer

Lars P. Riber, Thomas D. Christensen, Hans K. Pilegaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: Our aim was to estimate the costs and health benefits of routinely administered postoperative amiodarone as a prophylactic agent in reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer. Methods: This was a cost-effectiveness study, based on the randomized, controlled, double-blinded PASCART study, using avoidance of atrial fibrillation as the measure of benefit. Two hundred and fifty-four eligible, consecutively enrolled patients, undergoing surgery for lung cancer at the department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, were included and randomized to receive either 300 mg of amiodarone or placebo (5% aqueous dextrose solution), administered intravenously over 20 min immediately after surgery, followed by 600 mg of amiodarone/placebo orally twice per day (8 a.m. and 6 p.m.) for the first five postoperative days. Results: In the amiodarone group there were 11 cases of atrial fibrillation, compared with 38 in the control group (P < 0.001). There were no differences in the length of hospital stay or resources used. The mean total costs per patient were equal and amounted to 7288 per patient (P = 0.23). There were no signs of adverse developments referable to amiodarone in this prophylactic regime. Conclusions: For patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer, routine use of postoperative prophylactic intravenous bolus and five subsequent days of oral amiodarone therapy reduces the risk of atrial fibrillation in a cost-neutral manner.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)120-125
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Pharmacology (cardiovascular)
  • Postoperative care
  • Statistics (clinical trial)
  • Surgery for lung cancer
  • Length of Stay
  • Prospective Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications/drug therapy
  • Male
  • Lung Neoplasms/surgery
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents/administration & dosage
  • Pneumonectomy/adverse effects
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Denmark
  • Adult
  • Atrial Fibrillation/drug therapy
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Amiodarone/administration & dosage


Dive into the research topics of 'Amiodarone is a cost-neutral way of preventing atrial fibrillation after surgery for lung cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this