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Rationale and design of the colchicine for the prevention of perioperative atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing major noncardiac thoracic surgery (COP-AF) trial

June 21, 2023

Background
Perioperative atrial fibrillation (AF) and myocardial injury after noncardiac surgery (MINS) are common complications after noncardiac surgery. Inflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of both disorders. The COP-AF trial tests the hypothesis that colchicine reduces the incidence of perioperative AF and MINS in patients undergoing major noncardiac thoracic surgery.
Methods and Results
The ‘COlchicine for the Prevention of Perioperative Atrial Fibrillation’ (COP-AF) trial is an international, blinded, randomized trial that compares colchicine to placebo in patients aged at least 55 years and undergoing major noncardiac thoracic surgery with general anesthesia. Exclusion criteria include a history of AF and a contraindication to colchicine (eg, severe renal dysfunction). Oral colchicine at a dose of 0.5 mg or matching placebo is given within 4 hours before surgery. Thereafter, patients receive colchicine 0.5 mg or placebo twice daily for a total of 10 days. The 2 independent co-primary outcomes are clinically important perioperative AF (including atrial flutter) and MINS during 14 days of follow-up. The main safety outcomes are sepsis or infection and non-infectious diarrhea. We aim to enroll 3,200 patients from approximately 40 sites across 11 countries to have at least 80% power for the independent evaluation of the 2 co-primary outcomes. The COP-AF main results are expected in 2023.
Conclusions
COP-AF is a large randomized and blinded trial designed to determine whether colchicine reduces the risk of perioperative AF or MINS in patients who have major noncardiac thoracic surgery. (Am Heart J 2023;259:87–96.)
Keywords: Colchicine; Inflammation; Thoracic surgery; Atrial fibrillation; Myocardial injury; Prevention