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Flecainide versus vernakalant for conversion of recent-onset atrial fibrillation

, : Flecainide versus vernakalant for conversion of recent-onset atrial fibrillation. International Journal of Cardiology 168(3): 2423-2425

An oral single dose of flecainide is used worldwide for conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation (AF) in hemodynamically stable patients without structural heart disease. Vernakalant is a novel, rapid drug, which is used intravenously, with proven effectiveness and safety compared to placebo and amiodarone in randomized clinical trials. The aim of our study was to compare the time taken for conversion of recent onset AF in patients treated with vernakalant or flecainide. This is a sequential study in which 32 hemodynamically stable patients with recent onset AF without structural heart disease were prospectively and consecutively included in two periods, one for each drug. A single oral dose of flecainide 300 mg was administered to 15 patients and 17 patients received intravenous vernakalant. Clinical and laboratory variables, conversion rate and time to conversion were recorded. Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. Time to conversion to sinus rhythm was of 163 min (120-300) in the flecainide group versus 10 min (6-18) in the vernakalant group (p=0.0001). Time to conversion of AF to sinus rhythm was significantly shorter in the vernakalant group compared with the flecainide group, and was associated with shorter hospital stay. This reduction in hospital stay length may produce benefits in patients' medical care, costs and welfare.


PMID: 23518212

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.02.006

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