Hello and welcome to the discussion of "Rate Control versus Rhythm Control for Atrial Fibrillation after Cardiac Surgery". I want to start by thanking the authors, Dr. Gillinov and colleagues, for allowing us to have a more in-depth discussion related to their very interesting findings on the question of rate vs rhythm control for new cases of atrial fibrillation in the post-operative setting. Additionally, I want to extend a thank you to all of the experts on the topic for the invaluable insights you will be contributing to the conversation over the next ten days.
As was noted by the authors, atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery is a major cause of patient morbidity and comes at a large cost to our health care system. What do you think the clinical implications of this study are, given that there was no significant difference in outcomes between the rate vs rhythm control groups? Are there recommendations that can be extrapolated from this study's findings or does this study support the notion that post-operative atrial fibrillation can be treated according to the preference of the physician?