Use of subcutaneous enoxaparin compared to intravenous heparin and oral phenprocoumon in the setting of cardioversion—the ACE study (Anticoagulation in Cardioversion using Enoxaparin)

Christoph Stellbrink, Uwe Nixdorff, Thomas Hofmann, Walter Lehmacher, Werner Günther Daniel, Peter Hanrath, Christoph Geller, Andreas Mügge, Walter Sehnert, Caroline Schmidt-Lucke, Jan-André Schmidt-Lucke
Cardiac Electrophysiology Review 2003, 7 (4): 382-6
The mode and duration of anticoagulation in the setting of cardioversion of atrial fibrillation-either with or without guidance by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)-is still an unresolved issue. Oral anticoagulation with warfarin or phenprocoumon is frequently used but may be associated with an increased risk of bleeding complications or, conversely, episodes of undercoagulation. Moreover, it takes several days to reach full anticoagulation with oral compounds. This phase may be covered with intravenous heparin but this requires prolonged hospitalization. Low-molecular weight heparin is an attractive alternative as it not only provides a safe and predictable level of anticoagulation with few side effects but can also be administered safely on an outpatient basis. In addition, anticoagulation monitoring is usually unnecessary. The ACE study (Anticoagulation in Cardioversion using Enoxaparin) compared the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous enoxaparin with intravenous heparin/oral phenprocoumon before and after cardioversion (stratified to TEE guidance or no TEE guidance). This article summarizes the study rationale and design. The results will be published shortly.

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