OPEN IN READ APP
JOURNAL ARTICLE

A Multicenter Randomized Trial to Evaluate a Chemical-first or Electrical-first Cardioversion Strategy for Patients With Uncomplicated Acute Atrial Fibrillation

Frank X Scheuermeyer, Gary Andolfatto, Jim Christenson, Cristina Villa-Roel, Brian Rowe
Academic Emergency Medicine: Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2019, 26 (9): 969-981
31423687

BACKGROUND: Emergency department (ED) patients with uncomplicated atrial fibrillation (AF) of less than 48 hours may be safely managed with rhythm control. Although both chemical-first and electrical-first strategies have been advocated, there are no comparative effectiveness data to guide clinicians.

METHODS: At six urban Canadian centers, ED patients ages 18 to 75 with uncomplicated symptomatic AF of less than 48 hours and CHADS2 score of 0 or 1 were randomized using concealed allocation in a 1:1 ratio to one of the following strategies: 1) chemical cardioversion with procainamide infusion, followed by electrical countershock if unsuccessful; or 2) electrical cardioversion, followed by procainamide infusion if unsuccessful. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients discharged within 4 hours of arrival. Secondary outcomes included ED length-of-stay (LOS); prespecified ED-based adverse events; and 30-day ED revisits, hospitalizations, strokes, deaths, and quality of life (QoL).

RESULTS: Eighty-four patients were analyzed: 41 in the chemical-first group and 43 in the electrical-first group. Groups were balanced in terms of age, sex, vital signs, and CHADS2 scores. All patients were discharged home, with 83 (99%) in sinus rhythm. In the chemical-first group, 13 of 41 patients (32%) were discharged within 4 hours compared to 29 of 43 patients (67%) in the electrical-first group (p = 0.001). In the chemical-first group, the median ED LOS was 5.1 hours (interquartile range [IQR] = 3.5 to 5.9 hours) compared to 3.5 hours (IQR = 2.4 to 4.6 hours) in the electrical-first group, for a median difference of 1.2 hours (95% confidence interval = 0.4 to 2.0 hours, p < 0.001). No patients experienced stroke or death. All other outcomes, including adverse events, ED revisits, and QoL, were similar.

CONCLUSION: In uncomplicated ED AF patients managed with rhythm control, chemical-first and electrical-first strategies both appear to be successful and well tolerated; however, an electrical-first strategy results in a significantly shorter ED LOS.

Discussion

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
31423687
×

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"