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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2004 Aug;15(8):877-84.

Sotalol reverses remodeled action potential in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation but does not prevent arrhythmia recurrence.

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  • 1Section of Arrhythmia, Division of Cardiology, Shizuoka Saiseikai General Hospital, Shizuoka, Japan.



Recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) may be related to AF-induced electrical remodeling characterized by shortening of the atrial action potential duration (APD) and loss of its rate adaptation. We investigated the effects of pretreatment with oral d,l-sotalol on rate-dependent changes in atrial monophasic action potential (MAP) duration after cardioversion of chronic AF with reference to the efficacy in preventing the arrhythmia recurrence.


MAPs were recorded from the right atrium at six pacing cycle lengths (CLs) from 300 to 750 ms in 19 chronic AF patients after electrical cardioversion; 9 had been pretreated with oral d,l-sotalol (196 +/- 42 mg/day) for 7 days and 10 were untreated. MAP duration at 90% repolarization (MAPD90) in 11 control patients increased progressively with increases in CLs from 209 +/- 19 ms at CL = 300 ms to 264 +/- 28 ms at CL = 750 ms. In AF patients without sotalol, the CL-MAPD relation was shifted downward and flattened at longer CLs; MAPD90 values were 206 +/- 11 ms and 227 +/- 16 ms at CLs of 300 and 750 ms, respectively. MAPD90 values at CLs > or =500 ms in AF were significantly shorter than controls. In AF patients with sotalol, the normal CL-MAPD relation was preserved; MAPD90 increased from 226 +/- 19 ms to 282 +/- 46 ms in the CL range. AF recurred within 2 weeks after cardioversion in 14 of 24 patients pretreated with d,l-sotalol (216 +/- 51 mg/day) despite of continuation of sotalol treatment.


Sotalol reverses AF-induced decrease in MAPD adaptation to rate in the atria of chronic AF patients, but this effect does not lead to prevention of AF recurrence.

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