Spinal stimulation reduces the risk of postoperative fibrillation

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 12.03.2022

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

29 December 2021, 09:00

The procedure of spinal stimulation before and after open heart surgery reduces the likelihood of postoperative heart rhythm disturbances by almost 90%.

According to scientists, approximately 45% of patients who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery have atrial fibrillation in the period after the intervention . This type of arrhythmia, in turn, can cause many adverse consequences - from the development of heart failure, heart attack or stroke to thromboembolic conditions, which negatively affect both health and quality of life. One of the factors in the development of postoperative arrhythmias is the hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system. According to the results of a scientific experiment, the stimulating effect on the spinal structures - a traditional procedure for the treatment of chronic pain syndrome that is not treatable with drugs - directly affects the autonomic nervous system and reduces the likelihood of postoperative atrial fibrillation.

The experimental work involved 52 patients diagnosed with prolonged attacks of atrial fibrillation. All enrolled patients were referred for coronary artery bypass grafting. Participants were divided into two groups that were similar in terms of surgical, hospital, and demographic characteristics. The first group received temporary spinal stimulation for 72 hours before coronary artery bypass surgery and for 168 hours after it. The second group did not receive such stimulation. All patients were prescribed treatment with β-blockers for one month after surgery. Further, the participants were monitored for 30 days, during which the experts noted: the frequency of occurrence of prolonged attacks of postoperative atrial fibrillation in the first group was 3.8%, while in the second group this figure reached more than 30%.

The stimulation method consists in the introduction of electrodes into the region of the posterior epidural space at the level of C7-T4 vertebrae.

Scientists have set themselves the goal of determining how effective and safe this technology is. For 30 days, no complications or clinically significant consequences were found, which speaks in favor of the unconditional safety of this method. The results of the study showed that spinal stimulation reduced the risks of postoperative arrhythmias by almost 90%. Further, specialists will continue to study this technique, applying it to other open cardiological operations.

Details of the study are on the page.

Translation Disclaimer: For the convenience of users of the iLive portal this article has been translated into the current language, but has not yet been verified by a native speaker who has the necessary qualifications for this. In this regard, we warn you that the translation of this article may be incorrect, may contain lexical, syntactic and grammatical errors.

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.