Inappropriate use of antiarrhythmic drugs in paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation in a large contemporary international survey: insights from RealiseAF.
Europace. 2013 Dec;15(12):1733-40
Authors: Chiang CE, Goethals M, O'Neill JO, Naditch-Brûlé L, Brette S, Gamra H, Zharinov O, Steg PG, RealiseAF survey investigators
AIMS: International atrial fibrillation (AF) guidelines have defined optimal drugs for patients with various underlying diseases, but the extent to which real-life practice complies with these guidelines is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the appropriate use of antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) in patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF from the RealiseAF survey, according to the 2006 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/European Society of Cardiology AF guidelines.
METHODS AND RESULTS: RealiseAF was an international cross-sectional, observational survey of 10 523 eligible patients from 26 countries on 4 continents, with ≥1 AF episode documented by standard electrocardiogram or by Holter monitoring in the last 12 months. Participating physicians were randomly selected during 2009-10 from lists of office-based or hospital-based cardiologists and internists. Overall, 4947 patients with paroxysmal (n = 2606) or persistent AF (n = 2341) were included; mean (standard deviation) age was 64.7 (12.4) and 66.0 (11.8) years, respectively. Class Ic drugs were prescribed in 589 patients (11.9%); however, in 20.0% of these patients, the indication was not consistent with published guidelines. Similarly, for the 219 patients prescribed sotalol (4.4%), 16.0% received treatment for an indication that deviated from the published guidelines. Amiodarone was prescribed as first-line therapy in 1268 patients (25.6%), but 49.9% of these did not have heart failure or hypertension with significant left ventricular hypertrophy.
CONCLUSION: The use of AADs for persistent or paroxysmal AF in this large contemporary international survey showed some deviations from international guidelines. The highest discordance came with the use of amiodarone in first line. Clearly, there is a large discrepancy between published guidelines and current practice.
PMID: 23858023 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]