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Eur Heart J. 2006 Dec;27(23):2858-65. Epub 2006 Nov 10.

The use of enoxaparin compared with unfractionated heparin for short-term antithrombotic therapy in atrial fibrillation patients undergoing transoesophageal echocardiography-guided cardioversion: assessment of Cardioversion Using Transoesophageal Echocardiography (ACUTE) II randomized multicentre study.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Scalfe Hall S-563, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



To compare the feasibility and safety of transoesophageal echocardiograpy-guided cardioversion (CV) with enoxaparin and unfractionated heparin (UFH) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).


The Assessment of Cardioversion Using Transoesophageal Echocardiography (ACUTE) II pilot trial compared the safety and efficacy of enoxaparin with UFH in 155 patients with AF who were scheduled for transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE)-guided CV. Safety outcomes over a 5-week period were ischaemic stroke, major or minor bleeding, and death. Efficacy outcomes were length of stay (LOS) and return to normal sinus rhythm (NSR). Of the 76 patients assigned to the enoxaparin group, 72 (94.7%) had a transoesophageal echocardiogram and 63 (82.9%) had early CV, of which 59 (93.7%) were successful. Of the 79 UFH patients, 66 (83.5%) had a transoesophageal echocardiogram and 58 (73.4%) had early CV, of which 54 (98.2%) were successful. There were no significant differences in embolic events, bleeding, or deaths between groups. The enoxaparin group had shorter median LOS compared with the UFH group [3(2-4) vs. 4(3-5)] days; P<0.0001). There was also more NSR at 5 weeks in the enoxaparin group (76 vs. 57%; P=0.013).


In the ACUTE II trial, there were no differences in safety outcomes between the two strategies. However, the enoxaparin group had a shorter LOS. Thus, the TEE-guided enoxaparin strategy may be considered a safe and effective alternative strategy for AF. The shorter LOS may translate to lower costs using the enoxaparin TEE-guided approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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