alexa Rapid loading of sotalol or amiodarone for management of recent onset symptomatic atrial fibrillation: a randomized, digoxin-controlled trial.
Cardiology

Cardiology

Arrhythmia: Open Access

Author(s): Thomas SP, Guy D, Wallace E, Crampton R, Kijvanit P

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BACKGROUND:

Amiodarone and sotalol are commonly used for the maintenance of sinus rhythm, but the efficacy of these agents administered as high-dose infusions for rapid conversion of atrial fibrillation is unknown. Use in this context would facilitate drug initiation in patients in whom ongoing prophylactic therapy is indicated.

METHODS:

We assessed the efficacy and safety of rapid high-dose intravenous infusions of amiodarone and sotalol for heart rate control and rapid reversion to sinus rhythm in patients who came to the emergency department with recent-onset symptomatic atrial fibrillation. Patients (n = 140) were randomized to receive 1.5mg/kg of sotalol infused in 10 minutes, 10mg/kg of amiodarone in 30 minutes, or 500 microg of digoxin in 20 minutes. Electrical cardioversion was attempted for patients not converting to sinus rhythm within 12 hours.

RESULTS:

The rapid infusion of sotalol or amiodarone resulted in more rapid rate control than digoxin. Each of the 3 trial strategies resulted in similar rates of pharmacological conversion to sinus rhythm (amiodarone, 51%; sotalol, 44%; digoxin, 50%; P = not significant). The overall rates of cardioversion after trial drug infusion and defibrillation were high for all groups (amiodarone, 94%; sotalol, 95%,; digoxin, 98%; P = not significant), but there was a trend toward a higher incidence of serious adverse reactions in the amiodarone group.

CONCLUSION:

The rapid infusion of sotalol or amiodarone in patients with symptomatic recent-onset atrial fibrillation results in rapid control of ventricular rate. Even with high-dose rapid infusions, all 3 agents are associated with a poor overall reversion rate within 12 hours. Almost all patients were returned to sinus rhythm with a combination of pharmacological therapy and electrical cardioversion.

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This article was published in Am Heart J. and referenced in Arrhythmia: Open Access

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