COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

The effect of oral magnesium, alone or as an adjuvant to sotalol, after cardioversion in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation

M Frick, B Darpö, J Ostergren, M Rosenqvist
European Heart Journal 2000, 21 (14): 1177-85
10924301

AIMS: To determine whether magnesium given orally decreases the recurrence rate of atrial fibrillation after elective direct current cardioversion of persistent atrial fibrillation.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Consecutive outpatients were randomized to treatment with oral magnesium (10.3 mmol) or placebo twice daily in a double-blind fashion. Two groups were studied; magnesium study: 170 patients with atrial fibrillation persistent for >1 month, scheduled for their first direct current cardioversion. No concomitant antiarrhythmic drugs of class I or III were allowed. Sotalol and magnesium study: 131 patients with recurrence of persistent atrial fibrillation after previous direct current cardioversion, or a history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, treated with sotalol. Patients were followed until recurrence of atrial fibrillation or for at least 6 months. Magnesium study: at cardioversion 67 of 85 (79%) in the placebo group and 64 of 85 (75%) in the magnesium group had converted to sinus rhythm. At the end of the study, with a follow-up of 6 to 42 months, 15% of patients in the placebo group and 19% of patients in the magnesium group remained in sinus rhythm (Log rank test: P=0.37). Sotalol and magnesium study: pharmacological conversion to sinus rhythm, after oral treatment, was achieved in 34 of 131 (26%) patients. Sinus rhythm, with or without cardioversion, was restored in 89% and 85% of the patients in the placebo and magnesium groups, respectively. At the end of the study, with a follow-up of 6 to 42 months, 37% of patients in the placebo group and 30% of patients in the magnesium group remained in sinus rhythm (Log rank test: P=0.64).

CONCLUSION: In patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, oral treatment with magnesium alone or as an adjuvant to sotalol, does not influence the recurrence rate of atrial fibrillation after elective cardioversion.

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