n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation Recurrences After Electrical Cardioversion A Prospective, Randomized Study

Department of Experimental and Applied Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Brescia Medical School, P. le Spedali Civili, 1-25123 Brescia, Italy.
Circulation (Impact Factor: 14.95). 08/2011; 124(10):1100-6. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.022194
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) exert antiarrhythmic effects and reduce sudden cardiac death. However, their role in the prevention of atrial fibrillation remains controversial. We aimed to determine the effect of n-3 PUFAs in addition to amiodarone and a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor on the maintenance of sinus rhythm after direct current cardioversion in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation.
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm trial in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, with at least 1 relapse after cardioversion, and treated with amiodarone and a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor. Participants were assigned to placebo or n-3 PUFAs 2 g/d and then underwent direct current cardioversion 4 weeks later. The primary end point was the probability of maintenance of sinus rhythm at 1 year after cardioversion. Of 254 screened patients, 199 were found to be eligible and randomized. At the 1-year follow up, the probability of maintenance of sinus rhythm was significantly higher in the n-3 PUFAs-treated patients compared with the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.62 [95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.72] and 0.36 [95% confidence interval, 0.26 to 0.46], respectively; P=0.0001).
In patients with persistent atrial fibrillation on amiodarone and a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor, the addition of n-3 PUFAs 2 g/d improves the probability of the maintenance of sinus rhythm after direct current cardioversion. Our data suggest that n-3 PUFAs may exert beneficial effects in the prevention of atrial fibrillation recurrence. Further studies are needed to confirm and expand our findings. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: Unique identifier: NCT01198275.

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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) in preventing recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is controversial and their effects on inflammation and oxidative stress in this population are not known. This study examined the effects of high-dose marine n-3 PUFAs added to conventional therapy on the recurrence of AF and on markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF were randomized to n-3 PUFAs (4 g/day; n = 126) or placebo (n = 64) in a 2:1 ratio in a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study. The primary outcome was time to recurrence of AF. Secondary outcomes were changes in biomarkers of inflammation (serum interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8, IL-10, tissue necrosis factor alpha, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor), N-terminal-pro-brain-type natriuretic peptide, and oxidative stress (urinary F2-isoprostanes). AF recurred in 74 patients (58.7%) randomized to n-3 PUFAs and in 30 patients (46.9%) who received placebo; time to recurrence of AF did not differ significantly in the 2 groups (hazard ratio 1.20; 95% confidence interval 0.76 to 1.90, adjusted p = 0.438). Compared with placebo, n-3 PUFAs did not result in clinically meaningful changes in concentrations of inflammatory markers, N-terminal-pro-brain-type natriuretic peptide or F2-isoprostanes. In conclusion, in patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF, treatment with n-3 PUFAs 4 g/day did not reduce the recurrence of AF, nor was it associated with clinically important effects on concentrations of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. (Clinical trial registration number, NCT 00552084.). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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