Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri




BONORA Antonio Verona(Verona) – DAI Emergenza e Terapie Intensive – Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Verona | TURCATO Gianni Verona(Verona) – DAI Emergenza e Terapie Intensive – Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Verona | PICCOLI Anna Verona (Verona) – DAI Cardiovascolare e Toracico – Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Verona

Background: Amiodarone is still widely used in recent-onset atrial fibrillation (AF), mainly in elder people, for its presumed safety. Nevertheless the growing experience with class 1c agents could encourage their use in order to improve the management of AF in elderly too.

Aim: To assess whether class 1c agents could be considered effective and safe in elder people, as well in younger, in terminating recent-onset AF.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated a three-years experience in over 75 patients treated in the Emergency Department of University Hospital of Verona for recent-onset AF (< 48 h). We excluded patients submitted to electrical cardioversion and those in whom the choice of treatment was forced by clinical conditions or coronary and structural heart disease. Then we compared the results in terms of effectiveness and safety between the two groups of treatment, class 1c agents vs amiodarone. Statistical analysis was performed using Chi-square test, with significance level set at 0.05. Results: We attempted at restoration of sinus rhythm in 264 patients older than 75 years observed for recent-onset AF from January 2018 to December 2020. According to exclusion criteria, the study population was restricted to 147 patients (53 males, 94 females; mean age 80 years, range 75-95) where the treatment depended on the physician 's choice only. Most of these patients (61.2%) was treated with amiodarone, while in 38.8% class 1c agents were administered. Mean age was not significantly different between the groups (81 vs 78.5). After treatment, stable restoration of sinus rhythm was reported in 43 patients (47.7%) in amiodarone and in 47 (82.4%) in class 1c group (0.01). Median time of conversion was 240 minutes (range 30-680) in amiodarone while 60 (range 15-530) in class 1c group (0.01), as shown in fig. 1. Surprisingly, even the narrow sample did not allow any significance, the incidence of adverse events was notably superior in amiodarone patients, both in number (5 cases) and seriousness (2 cases). Whereas in class 1c group we reported only one mild adverse event. At the end of observation, 43 patients (75.4%) in class 1c but only 38 (42.2%) in amiodarone group were discharged with stable sinus rhythm (0.02). Conclusions: Class 1c agents appear to be more effective and as safe as amiodarone in terminating recent-onset AF even in selected elder people. However these preliminary results need to be confirmed in a larger and prospective study.