Usefulness of Pharmacologic Conversion of Atrial Fibrillation During Dofetilide Loading Without the Need for Electrical Cardioversion to Predict Durable Response to Therapy.
Am J Cardiol. 2013 Nov 9;
Authors: Malhotra R, Bilchick KC, Dimarco JP
Conversion of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) to sinus rhythm is frequently seen during the 3-day in-hospital loading period required during dofetilide initiation, but it is not known whether pharmacologic conversion (PC) without the need for electrical cardioversion (EC) is a predictor of long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm during continued therapy with dofetilide. We sought to test the hypothesis that PC predicts durable maintenance of sinus rhythm and determine additional predictors of long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm on dofetilide. We retrospectively reviewed all elective inpatient admissions for dofetilide loading from 2003 to 2011 at the University of Virginia. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess predictors of maintenance of sinus rhythm after in-hospital dofetilide loading. In all, 101 patients with a current duration of AF lasting for a median of 1.86 months (interquartile range 0.47 to 6.03) were included in the analysis. Forty-seven patients were in the PC group, whereas 54 patients were in the EC group. Patients in the PC group remained longer in sinus rhythm compared with the patients in the EC group (log-rank p = 0.032). The seventy-fifth percentile for the current episode duration in the PC group was 5.77 months, indicating that even long-standing persistent AF frequently converted pharmacologically. Hypertension and a longer duration of the current AF episode were also predictors of recurrence in the multivariate model. In conclusion, PC during in-hospital dofetilide loading is an important predictor of durable response even in long-standing persistent patients, which has important public health implications for choice of therapy.
PMID: 24321897 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]