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<jats:sec><jats:title>Introduction</jats:title><jats:p>Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia in the critical care environment. New-onset AF is associated with increased mortality and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay. Observational studies have identified several epidemiological and disease severity-related factors associated with developing new-onset AF on the ICU. However, there are limited data on the modifiable risk factors in the general adult ICU population.</jats:p><jats:p>We describe a protocol for a systematic review of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for new-onset AF in the general adult ICU population. The results of this review will aid the development of risk prediction tools and inform future research into AF prevention on the ICU.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods and analysis</jats:title><jats:p>Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, Excerpta Medica database and the Cochrane Library, including Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials will be searched for studies that assess the association of patient variables, investigation results, interventions and diagnoses associated with subsequent new-onset AF on the ICU.</jats:p><jats:p>Only studies involving adult patients admitted to non-service-specific ICUs will be included. We will extract data relating to the statistical association between reversible and non-reversible factors and AF, the quality of the studies and the generalisability of the results. This systematic review will be reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Ethics and dissemination</jats:title><jats:p>This proposed systematic review will be based on published data, and therefore ethical approval is not required. The findings of this study will be disseminated through publication in a peer reviewed journal and will be presented at conferences.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>PROSPERO registration number</jats:title><jats:p>CRD42017074221.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open



Publication Date





e024640 - e024640