alexa Superiority of ibutilide (a new class III agent) over DL-sotalol in converting atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation. The Ibutilide Sotalol Comparator Study Group.
Cardiology

Cardiology

Arrhythmia: Open Access

Author(s): Vos MA, Golitsyn SR, Stangl K, Ruda MY, Van Wijk LV

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OBJECTIVE:

To compare the efficacy and safety of a single dose of ibutilide, a new class III antiarrhythmic drug, with that of DL-sotalol in terminating chronic atrial fibrillation or flutter in haemodynamically stable patients.

DESIGN:

Double blind, randomised study.

SETTING:

43 European hospitals.

PATIENTS:

308 patients (mean age 60 years, 70% men, 48% with heart disease) with sustained atrial fibrillation (n = 251) or atrial flutter (n = 57) (duration three hours to 45 days) were randomised to three groups to receive a 10 minute infusion of 1 mg ibutilide (n = 99), 2 mg ibutilide (n = 106), or 1.5 mg/kg DL-sotalol (n = 103). Infusion was discontinued at termination of the arrhythmia.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Successful conversion of atrial fibrillation or flutter, defined as termination of arrhythmia within one hour of treatment.

RESULTS:

Both drugs were more effective against atrial flutter than against atrial fibrillation. Ibutilide was superior to DL-sotalol for treating atrial flutter (70% and 56% v 19%), while the high dose of ibutilide was more effective for treating atrial fibrillation than DL-sotalol (44% v 11%) and the lower dose of ibutilide (44% v 20%, p < 0.01). The mean (SD) time to arrhythmia termination was 13 (7) minutes with 2 mg ibutilide, 19 (15) minutes with 1 mg ibutilide, and 25 (17) minutes with DL-sotalol. In all patients, the duration of arrhythmia before treatment was a predictor of arrhythmia termination, although this was less obvious in the group that received 2 mg ibutilide. This dose converted almost 48% of atrial fibrillation that was present for more than 30 days. Concomitant use of digitalis or nifedipine and prolongation of the QTc interval were not predictive of arrhythmia termination. Bradycardia (6.5%) and hypotension (3.7%) were more common side effects with DL-sotalol. Of 211 patients given ibutilide, two (0.9%) who received the higher dose developed polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, one of whom required direct current cardioversion.

CONCLUSION:

Ibutilide (given in 1 or 2 mg doses over 10 minutes) is highly effective for rapidly terminating persistent atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. This new class III drug, under monitored conditions, is a potential alternative to currently available cardioversion options.

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

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