Use of transesophageal echocardiography to guide cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation.
ABSTRACT The conventional treatment strategy for patients with atrial fibrillation who are to undergo electrical cardioversion is to prescribe warfarin for anticoagulation for three weeks before cardioversion. It has been proposed that if transesophageal echocardiography reveals no atrial thrombus, cardioversion may be performed safely after only a short period of anticoagulant therapy.
In a multicenter, randomized, prospective clinical trial, we enrolled 1222 patients with atrial fibrillation of more than two days' duration and assigned them to either treatment guided by the findings on transesophageal echocardiography or conventional treatment. The composite primary end point was cerebrovascular accident, transient ischemic attack, and peripheral embolism within eight weeks. Secondary end points were functional status, successful restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm, hemorrhage, and death.
There was no significant difference between the two treatment groups in the rate of embolic events (five embolic events among 619 patients in the transesophageal-echocardiography group [0.8 percent]) vs. three among 603 patients in the conventional-treatment group [0.5 percent], P=0.50). However, the rate of hemorrhagic events was significantly lower in the transesophageal-echocardiography group (18 events [2.9 percent] vs. 33 events [5.5 percent], P=0.03). Patients in the transesophageal-echocardiography group also had a shorter time to cardioversion (mean [+/-SD], 3.0+/-5.6 vs. 30.6+/-10.6 days, P<0.001) and a greater rate of successful restoration of sinus rhythm (440 patients [71.1 percent] vs. 393 patients [65.2 percent], P=0.03). At eight weeks, there were no significant differences between the two groups in the rates of death or maintenance of sinus rhythm or in functional status.
The use of transesophageal echocardiography to guide the management of atrial fibrillation may be considered a clinically effective alternative strategy to conventional therapy for patients in whom elective cardioversion is planned.
- SourceAvailable from: Gyorgy FrendlThe Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. 09/2014; 148(3):772-791.
Article: Rationale and design of the eXplore the efficacy and safety of once-daily oral riVaroxaban for the prEvention of caRdiovascular events in patients with nonvalvular aTrial fibrillation scheduled for cardioversion trial: A comparison of oral rivaroxaban once daily with dose-adjusted vitamin K antagonists in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation undergoing elective cardioversion.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Anticoagulation before, during, and after cardioversion is effective in reducing stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation. The objective of this study is to explore the efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban 20 mg once daily (15 mg if creatinine clearance is 30-49 mL/min) compared with dose-adjusted vitamin K antagonists (VKAs; international normalized ratio 2.0-3.0) in patients scheduled for elective cardioversion. This is a prospective, randomized, open-label, parallel group comparison of approximately 1,500 patients from 17 countries with hemodynamically stable nonvalvular atrial fibrillation of >48 hours or unknown duration. Patients will be randomized 2:1 (rivaroxaban:VKA) using 2 cardioversion strategies: the first approach is early cardioversion with the precardioversion anticoagulation goal of 1 to 5 days using rivaroxaban or usual therapy (heparin + VKA). In these patients, transesophageal echocardiography will be encouraged to exclude atrial thrombi. The alternative approach is delayed cardioversion. Rivaroxaban or VKA will be administered for 21 to 56 days before cardioversion. All patients will receive study treatment for 6 weeks postcardioversion. The primary efficacy end point is a composite of all strokes, transient ischemic attacks, noncentral nervous system systemic emboli, myocardial infarctions, and cardiovascular deaths. Each primary end point component will be evaluated separately, and additional composites will be investigated. The principal safety end point is major bleeding. This will be the first prospective study of a novel oral anticoagulant in the setting of cardioversion. It will provide important information regarding the use of rivaroxaban in the periods preceding and after cardioversion in a broad patient population.American heart journal 05/2014; 167(5):646-52. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia that can potentially result in stroke. Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) like warfarin were for many decades the only oral anticoagulants available for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) at high risk of stroke. Recently, new oral anticoagulants (NOACS) have been introduced that act via direct inhibition of thrombin (dabigatran) or activated factor X (edoxaban, rivaroxaban and apixaban). Unlike VKAs, these anticoagulants do not require routine INR monitoring and posses favorable pharmacological properties. NOACs act rapidly, and have a stable and predictable dose-related anticoagulant effect with few clinically relevant drug-drug interactions. Phase III trials comparing these agents to warfarin for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular AF demonstrated that they are at least as efficacious and safe as warfarin. Evolution of clinical guidelines to incorporate the new anticoagulants for stroke prevention in non-valvular AF may result in a reduction in the incidence of AF-related strokes. Safe and effective use of these new drugs in clinical practice requires understanding of their distinct pharmacological properties.Cardiovascular drugs and therapy / sponsored by the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy. 05/2014;