Thromboembolic complications after cardioversion of acute atrial fibrillation: the FinCV (Finnish CardioVersion) study

K E Juhani Airaksinen, Toni Grönberg, Ilpo Nuotio, Marko Nikkinen, Antti Ylitalo, Fausto Biancari, Juha E K Hartikainen
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2013 September 24, 62 (13): 1187-92

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to explore the incidence and risk factors of thromboembolic complications after cardioversion of acute atrial fibrillation.

BACKGROUND: Anticoagulation therapy is currently recommended after cardioversion of acute atrial fibrillation in patients with risk factors for stroke, but the implementation of these new consensus-based guidelines has been slow.

METHODS: A total of 7,660 cardioversions were performed in 3,143 consecutive patients with atrial fibrillation lasting <48 h in 3 hospitals. For this analysis, embolic complications were evaluated during the 30 days after 5,116 successful cardioversions in 2,481 patients with neither oral anticoagulation nor peri-procedural heparin therapy.

RESULTS: There were 38 (0.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.5% to 1.0%) definite thromboembolic events (31 strokes) within 30 days (median 2 days, mean 4.6 days) after cardioversion. In addition, 4 patients suffered transient ischemic attack after cardioversion. Age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.05; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.08), female sex (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1 to 4.0), heart failure (OR: 2.9; 95% CI: 1.1 to 7.2), and diabetes (OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1 to 4.9) were the independent predictors of definite embolic events. Classification tree analysis showed that the highest risk of thromboembolism (9.8%) was observed among patients with heart failure and diabetes, whereas patients with no heart failure and age <60 years had the lowest risk of thromboembolism (0.2%).

CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of post-cardioversion thromboembolic complications is high in certain subgroups of patients when no anticoagulation is used after cardioversion of acute atrial fibrillation. (Safety of Cardioversion of Acute Atrial Fibrillation [FinCV]; NCT01380574).


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

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

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"