COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Rate-control versus conversion strategy in postoperative atrial fibrillation: a prospective, randomized pilot study

J K Lee, G J Klein, A D Krahn, R Yee, K Zarnke, C Simpson, A Skanes, B Spindler
American Heart Journal 2000, 140 (6): 871-7
11099990

BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation remains a frequent complication after heart surgery. The optimal strategy to treat the condition has not been established. Several retrospective studies have suggested that a primary rate-control strategy may be equivalent to a strategy that restores sinus rhythm.

METHODS: Fifty patients with atrial fibrillation after heart surgery were randomly assigned to a strategy of antiarrhythmic therapy with or without electrical cardioversion or ventricular rate control. Both arms received anticoagulation with heparin overlapped with warfarin. The primary end point was time to conversion to sinus rhythm analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method. Atrial fibrillation relapse after the initial conversion was monitored in the hospital over a 2-month period.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference between an antiarrhythmic conversion strategy (n = 27) and a rate-control strategy (n = 23) in time to conversion to sinus rhythm (11.2 +/- 3. 2 vs 11.8 +/- 3.9 hours; P =.8). With the use of Cox multivariate analysis to control for the effects of age, sex, beta-blocker usage, and type of surgery, the antiarrhythmic strategy showed a trend toward reducing the time from treatment to restoration of sinus rhythm (P =.08). The length of hospital stay was reduced in the antiarrhythmic arm compared with the rate-control strategy (9.0 +/- 0.7 vs 13.2 +/- 2.0 days; P =.05). In-hospital relapse rates in the antiarrhythmic arm were 30% compared with 57% in the rate-control strategy (P =.24). There were no significant difference in relapse rates at 1 week (24% vs 28%), 4 weeks (6% vs 12%), and 6 to 8 weeks (4% vs 9%). At the end of the study, 91% of the patients in the rate-control arm were in sinus rhythm compared with 96% in the antiarrhythmic arm (P =.6).

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study shows little difference between a rate-control strategy and a strategy to restore sinus rhythm. Regardless of strategy, most patients will be in sinus rhythm after 2 months. A larger randomized, controlled study is needed to assess the impact of restoration of sinus rhythm on length of stay.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
11099990
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"