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Publication Detail
Maintenance of Serum Potassium Levels ≥3.6 mEq/L Versus ≥4.5 mEq/L After Isolated Elective Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting and the Incidence of New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation: Pilot and Feasibility Study Results
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Campbell NG, Allen E, Montgomery H, Aron J, Canter RR, Dodd M, Sanders J, Sturgess J, Elbourne D, O'Brien B
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
Objective: Serum potassium levels frequently are maintained at high levels (≥4.5 mEq/L) to prevent atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery (AFACS), with limited evidence. Before undertaking a noninferiority randomized controlled trial to investigate the noninferiority of maintaining levels ≥3.6 mEq/L compared with this strategy, the authors wanted to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of recruiting for such a trial. Design: Pilot and feasibility study of full trial protocol. Setting: Two university tertiary-care hospitals. Participants: A total of 160 individuals undergoing first-time elective isolated coronary artery bypass grafting. Interventions: Randomization (1:1) to protocols aiming to maintain serum potassium at either ≥3.6 mEq/L or ≥4.5 mEq/L after arrival in the postoperative care facility and for 120 hours or until discharge from the hospital or AFACS occurred, whichever happened first. Measurements and Main Results: Primary outcomes: (1) whether it was possible to recruit and randomize 160 patients for six months (estimated 20% of those eligible); (2) maintaining supplementation protocol violation rate ≤10% (defined as potassium supplementation being inappropriately administered or withheld according to treatment allocation after a serum potassium measurement); and (3) retaining 28-day follow-up rates ≥90% after surgery. Between August 2017 and April 2018, 723 patients were screened and 160 (22%) were recruited. Potassium protocol violation rate = 9.8%. Follow-up rate at 28 days = 94.3%. Data on planned outcomes for the full trial also were collected. Conclusions: It is feasible to recruit and randomize patients to a study assessing the impact of maintaining serum potassium concentrations at either ≥3.6 mEq/L or ≥4.5 mEq/L on the incidence of AFACS.
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