Role of Prophylactic Magnesium Supplementation in Prevention of Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation in Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 20 Randomized Controlled Trials

Document Type


Publication Date

June 2019


Background: Several randomized trials have evaluated the efficacy of prophylactic magnesium (Mg) supplementation in prevention of post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) in patients undergoing cardiac artery bypass grafting (CABG). We aimed to determine the role of prophylactic Mg in 3 different settings (intraoperative, postoperative, intraoperative plus postoperative) in prevention of POAF. Methods: A systemic literature search was performed (until January 19, 2019) using PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to identify trials evaluating Mg supplementation post CABG. Primary outcome of our study was reduction in POAF post CABG. Results: We included a total of 2,430 participants (1,196 in the Mg group and 1,234 in the placebo group) enrolled in 20 randomized controlled trials. Pooled analysis demonstrated no reduction in POAF between the two groups (RR 0.90; 95% CI, 0.79-1.03; p=0.13; I2=42.9%). In subgroup analysis, significant reduction in POAF was observed with postoperative Mg supplementation (RR 0.76; 95% CI, 0.58-0.99; p=0.04; I2=17.6%) but not with intraoperative or intraoperative plus postoperative Mg supplementation (RR 0.77; 95% CI, 0.49-1.22; p = 0.27; I2=49% and RR 0.92; 95% CI, 0.68-1.24; p = 0.58; I2=51.8%, respectively). Conclusions: Magnesium supplementation, especially in the postoperative period, is an effective strategy in reducing POAF following CABG.