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    ABSTRACT: Background: In experimental models, ranolazine exerts a synergistic effect which enhances amiodarone's potential to suppress atrial fibrillation (AF). The clinical effect of ranolazine added to amiodarone for AF conversion has only undergone minimal investigation. Purpose: This study compared the safety and effectiveness of ranolazine in combination with amiodarone versus amiodarone alone for conversion of paroxysmal AF. Methods: We prospectively enrolled all consecutive patients with paroxysmal AF who were deemed eligible for pharmacologic cardioversion. Exclusion criteria were QTc>440msec, hepatic, renal, or thyroid disorders, acute coronary syndrome, prior use of ranolazine, and use of strong CYP3A inhibitors which could affect ranolazine's metabolism. Patients were randomized to either iv amiodarone alone (loading dose of 5md/kg followed by a maintenance dose of 50mg/h for 24h), or to the combination of iv amiodarone plus a single oral dose of ranolazine 1500mg. Patients remained on continuous ECG monitoring. We measured the time to conversion to sinus rhythm, and the proportion of patients with AF conversion within 12h and within 24h. Results: 72 patients were enrolled (mean age 59±7 years): 35 in the amiodarone-only group and 37 in the amiodarone plus ranolazine combination group. The two groups did not differ in terms of clinical characteristics and echocardiographic parameters, including left atrium diameter. Time to conversion was shorter in the combination group compared with the amiodarone-only group (8.4±3.8h vs.15.1±4.8 h; p<0.001). Conversion was achieved in more patients in the combination group as compared to the amiodarone-only group (57% vs. 20% at 12h, respectively, p=0.001; and 86% vs. 68% at 24h, respectively, p=0.07). There were no cases of excessive QT prolongation (>550msec) and no proarrhythmic events in either treatment group. Conclusions: The addition of ranolazine to standard amiodarone treatment is safe, and it leads to faster conversion of paroxysmal AF. Consistent with substantial preclinical research on ranolazine's AF-suppressing potential, the present clinical study demonstrates a synergistic effect of ranolazine and amiodarone for conversion of paroxysmal AF.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Europace
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study is to describe the natural history of an unselected population of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) currently attending primary care services in a single health-service area in Galicia, north-western Spain. AFBAR is a transverse prospective study in which 35 general practitioners within one health-service area have enrolled patients diagnosed with AF who presented at their clinics during a three-month recruiting period. Primary endpoints are mortality or hospital admission. Here we report the results of the first 7-month follow-up period. 798 patients (421 male) were recruited; mean age of cohort was 75 years old. Hypertension was the most prevalent risk factor (77%). 87% of the patients were both overweight and obese. Permanent AF was diagnosed in 549 patients (69%). In the follow-up period, 16.4% of the patients underwent a primary endpoint and the overall survival was 98%. The following independent determinants of primary endpoint were identified: change in AF status (Hazard Ratio (HR) 2.89 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28-6.55); p=0.011); ischemic heart disease (IHD) (HR 2.78 (95% CI 1.51-5.13); p=0.001); pre-recruitment hospital admission (HR 2.22 (95% CI 1.18-4.19); p=0.013); left ventricular systolic dysfunction (HR 2.19 (95% CI 1.11-4.32); p=0.023); or AF-related complications (HR 1.98 (95% CI 1.10-3.56); p=0.022). In the first 7-month follow-up period of patients with AF in a primary care setting the study identified several independent risk factors for mortality or hospital admission, i.e. change in AF status, ischemic heart disease, left ventricular systolic dysfunction, previous AF-related complications and hospital admission.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · International journal of cardiology