Delay in correcting a-fib irregular cardiac rhythm linked with increased complications

A delay of 12 hours or longer to correct an abnormal cardiac rhythm from atrial fibrillation was associated with a greater risk of thromboembolic complications such as stroke, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA.

In 1995, practice guidelines recommended a limit of 48 hours after the onset of (AF) for cardioversion (the conversion of a from abnormal to normal) without anticoagulation. Whether the risk of thromboembolic complications is increased when cardioversion without anticoagulation is performed in less than 48 hours is unknown, according to background information in the article.

Ilpo Nuotio, M.D., Ph.D., of Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland and colleagues conducted a study that included patients with a successful cardioversion in the emergency department within the first 48 hours of AF. The primary outcome, a thromboembolic event, was defined as a clinical stroke or (blood clot) within 30 days after cardioversion. Procedures were divided into groups according to the time to cardioversion: less than 12 hours (group 1), 12 hours to less than 24 hours (group 2), and 24 hours to less than 48 hours (group 3).

Of 2,481 patients with acute AF, 5,116 successful cardioversions were performed without . Thirty­eight thromboembolic events occurred in 38 patients (0.7 percent); 31were strokes. The incidence of thromboembolic complications increased from 0.3 percent in group 1 to 1.1 percent in group 3. In analysis, time to cardioversion longer than 12 hours was an independent predictor for .

More information: DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.3824

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First evidence for painless atrial fibrillation treatment

Jul 04, 2014

The first evidence for a shockless treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF) will be presented today at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The meeting is organised by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular ...

Recommended for you

Adrenal sex hormone level may predict heart disease risk

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Blood levels of the adrenal sex hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEA-S) may predict an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in elderly men, according to a study ...

Researchers aim to simplify life saving drug

Oct 29, 2014

Heparin, the life saving blood thinner used in major surgeries and treatment of heart diseases, is a complicated drug but a research team from the University of British Columbia has set out to make its use a lot safer by ...

Frequent readmissions, high costs after cardiac arrest

Oct 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—Frequent readmissions and high inpatient costs are seen among older survivors of in-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a study published online Oct. 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality an ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.