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Int J Cardiol. 2003 Jun;89(2-3):239-48.

Amiodarone for pharmacological cardioversion of recent-onset atrial fibrillation.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Creighton University School of Medicine, 3006 Webster St., Omaha, NE 68131, USA. ikhan@cardiac.creighton.edu <ikhan@cardiac.creighton.edu>

Abstract

The efficacy and safety of amiodarone for pharmacological cardioversion of recent-onset atrial fibrillation was examined by reviewing the trials on the subject identified through a comprehensive literature search. Amiodarone has been used both intravenously (i.v.) and orally for the pharmacological cardioversion of recent-onset atrial fibrillation. Intravenous amiodarone has been used as a bolus only or as a bolus followed by a continuous i.v. infusion until conversion or up to 24 h. The dose of i.v. bolus given ranged from 3 to 7 mg/kg body weight and that of infusion from 900 to 3000 mg/day. The efficacy reported is 34-69% with the bolus only regimens, and 55-95% with the bolus followed by infusion regimens. Only the higher dose (>1500 mg/day) amiodarone is superior to placebo in converting recent-onset atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. The highest 24-h conversion rates have been reported with the i.v. regimen of 125 mg/h until conversion or a maximum of 3 g and the oral regimen of 25-30 mg/kg body weight administered as a single loading-dose (>90% and >85%, respectively). Most of the conversions occur after 6-8 h of the initiation of therapy. Predictors of successful conversion are shorter duration of atrial fibrillation, smaller left atrial size, and higher amiodarone dose. Amiodarone is not superior to the other antiarrhythmic drugs conventionally used for the pharmacological cardioversion of recent-onset atrial fibrillation but is relatively safe in patients with structural heart disease and in those with depressed left ventricle function. Therefore, amiodarone could be used particularly in patients with structural heart disease and in those with left ventricular systolic dysfunction as the use of class IC drugs, propafenone and flecainide, for cardioversion of atrial fibrillation is contraindicated in such patients.

PMID:
12767548
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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