Predictive ability of perioperative atrial fibrillation risk indices in cardiac surgery patients: a retrospective cohort study

  • Nathan H. Waldron
  • Mary Cooter
  • Jonathan P. Piccini
  • Kevin J. Anstrom
  • Rebecca Y. Klinger
  • Miklos D. Kertai
  • Mihai V. Podgoreanu
  • Mark Stafford-Smith
  • Mark F. Newman
  • Joseph P. Mathew
Reports of Original Investigations



The Multicenter Study of Perioperative Ischemia (McSPI) AFRisk index predicts postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) after cardiac surgery, but requires pre-, intra-, and postoperative data. Other more abbreviated risk indices exist, but there is no consensus on which risk index is optimal. We compared the discriminatory capacity of the McSPI AFRisk index with three indices containing only preoperative data (the CHA2DS2Vasc score, POAF score, and Kolek clinical risk prediction model), hypothesizing that the McSPI AFRisk index would have superior predictive capacity.


We retrospectively evaluated 783 patients undergoing cardiac surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass. The predictive capacity of each index was assessed by comparing receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves, scaled Brier scores, net reclassification indices, and the integrated discrimination indices.


The incidence of POAF was 32.6%. The area under the curve (AUC) of the ROC curve were 0.77, 0.58, 0.66, and 0.66 for the McSPI AFRisk index, CHA2DS2Vasc score, POAF score, and Kolek clinical risk prediction model, respectively. The McSPI AFRIsk index had the highest AUC (P < 0.0001). The scaled Brier scores for the McSPI AFRisk index, CHA2DS2Vasc score, POAF score, and Kolek clinical risk prediction model were 0.23, 0.02, 0.08, and 0.07, respectively. Both net reclassification indices and integrated discrimination indices showed that the McSPI AFRisk index more appropriately identified patients at high risk of POAF.


The McSPI AFRisk index showed superior ability to predict POAF after cardiac surgery compared with three other indices. When clinicians and investigators wish to measure the risk of POAF after cardiac surgery, they should consider using the McSPI AFRisk index.

Capacité de prédiction des indices de risque de fibrillation auriculaire périopératoire chez les patients de chirurgie cardiaque : une étude de cohorte rétrospective



L’indice AFRisk de l’étude multicentrique McSPI sur l’ischémie périopératoire prédit la fibrillation auriculaire postopératoire (POAF) après une chirurgie cardiaque, mais nécessite des données pré-, per- et postopératoires. Il existe d’autres indices de risques moins extensifs, mais il n’y a pas de consensus sur le choix de l’indice optimal. Nous avons comparé la capacité de discrimination de l’indice McSPI AFRisk à celle de trois autres indices ne contenant que des données préopératoires (le score CHA2DS2Vasc, le score POAF et le modèle de prédiction de risque clinique de Kolek) en énonçant l’hypothèse que la capacité de prédiction de l’indice McSPI AFRisk serait supérieure.


Nous avons évalué rétrospectivement 783 patients ayant subi une chirurgie cardiaque avec circulation extracorporelle. La capacité de prédiction de chaque indice a été évaluée en comparant les courbes d’efficacité du récepteur (ROC), les scores gradués de Brier, les indices de reclassement net et les indices de discrimination intégrée.


L’incidence de la POAF était de 32,6 %. L’aire sous la courbe (ASC) de la courbe ROC était de 0,77, 0,58, 0,66 et 0,66 pour, respectivement, l’indice McSPI AFRisk, le score CHA2DS2Vasc, le score POAF et le modèle de prédiction de risque clinique de Kolek. L’indice McSPI AFRIsk avait l’ASC la plus élevée (P < 0,0001). Les scores gradués de Brier pour l’indice McSPI AFRisk, le score CHA2DS2Vasc, le score POAF et modèle de prédiction de risque clinique de Kolek étaient, respectivement, de 0,23, 0,02, 0,08 et 0,07. Les indices de reclassement net et de discrimination intégrée ont montré tous les deux que l’indice McSPI AFRisk identifiait mieux les patients à risque élevé de POAF.


L’indice McSPI AFRisk a démontré une capacité de prédiction de la POAF après chirurgie cardiaque supérieure à celle des trois autres indices. Quand les cliniciens et investigateurs souhaiteront mesurer le risque de POAF après chirurgie cardiaque, ils devraient envisager d’utiliser l’indice McSPI AFRisk.


Conflicts of interest

None declared.

Editorial responsibility

This submission was handled by Dr. Steven Backman, Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Author contributions

Nathan H. Waldron and Joseph P. Mathew contributed substantially to all aspects of this manuscript, including conception and design; acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data; and drafting the article. Mary Cooter, Jonathan P. Piccini, Kevin J. Anstrom, and Miklos D. Kertai contributed substantially to the conception and design of the manuscript. Rebecca Y. Klinger, Mihai V. Podgoreanu, Mark Stafford-Smith, and Mark F. Newman contributed substantially to the interpretation of data. All authors approved the final version of this article.


This work was supported by an American Heart Association Mentored Clinical & Population Research Award to the first author, NHW.


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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan H. Waldron
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mary Cooter
    • 1
  • Jonathan P. Piccini
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kevin J. Anstrom
    • 2
  • Rebecca Y. Klinger
    • 1
  • Miklos D. Kertai
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mihai V. Podgoreanu
    • 1
  • Mark Stafford-Smith
    • 1
  • Mark F. Newman
    • 1
  • Joseph P. Mathew
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyDuke University Medical CentreDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Duke Clinical Research InstituteDuke University School of MedicineDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Division of CardiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Department of AnesthesiologyVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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