Conversion of Atrial Fibrillation after Cardiosurgical Procedures by Vernakalant® as an Atrial Repolarization Delaying Agent (ARDA)
Keywords:atrial fibrillation, cardiac surgery, conversion, risk factors, antiarrhythmic drugs
Background: Postoperative, new-onset atrial fibrillation (POAF) is one of the most common complications after cardiosurgical procedures. Vernakalant has been reported to be effective in the conversion of POAF. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of vernakalant for atrial fibrillation after cardiac operations, and to investigate predictors for the success of vernakalant treatment.
Patients and Methods: Post-cardiac surgery patients with new-onset of atrial fibrillation (AF) were consecutively enrolled in this study. Demographic data as well as intraoperative and postoperative parameters were analyzed. Vernakalant administration was primarily started 5.5 hours after new-onset POAF: 3 mg/kg intravenously over 10 min, and in case of non-conversion, a second dose of 2 mg/kg intravenously over 10 min.
Results: 129 consecutive patients (70.2 ± 9.1 years) were included: 61 patients with coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, 49 patients with isolated valve procedures, and 19 patients with combined procedures (CABG and valve). Conversion in sinus rhythm was achieved after the first vernakalant dose in 57 patients (44%), and after the second dose in 41 patients (32%). The mean time to conversion was 13.7 ± 14.1 min. The patients receiving valve procedures depicted a significantly lower conversion rate. The following variables lowered conversion rate: no preoperative beta blocker, postoperative troponin levels >500 ng/L, and systolic blood pressure >140 mmHg. At the first follow-up, 92% of the converted patients showed sinus rhythm, while 80% of the non-responders showed sinus rhythm (P < .01).
Conclusions: The POAF was effectively converted by vernakalant. The conversion rate of POAF after valve surgery was lower when compared to isolated CABG.
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