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      Rivaroxaban in atrial fibrillation cardioversion: an update

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          Abstract

          Currently, atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, with a prevalence of about 2–3% in the general population, representing a powerful risk factor for stroke and systemic thromboembolism and increased mortality and morbidity. Restoration of sinus rhythm is an important treatment option in AF and has a high success rate, but there is the need for an effective anticoagulation strategy to reduce the risk of embolic events. Anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists is often associated with failure to achieving effective international normalized ratio. In this setting, recent data have led to extended approval for rivaroxaban in clinical practice, because it is effective and safe in patients with AF undergoing cardioversion, avoiding additional health costs and related time loss, while improving patient satisfaction. The present report provides an overview of the main randomized controlled trial and the main real-life studies, documenting the use of rivaroxaban in patients with non-valvular AF who underwent the cardioversion procedure. Considering that novel non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in left atrial appendage thrombi resolution is still unknown in the real-world practice, the main findings on the use of rivaroxaban in this setting are also discussed.

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          Most cited references 77

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          A population-based study of the long-term risks associated with atrial fibrillation: 20-year follow-up of the Renfrew/Paisley study.

          To describe the effect of atrial fibrillation on long-term morbidity and mortality. The Renfrew/Paisley Study surveyed 7052 men and 8354 women aged 45-64 years between 1972 and 1976. All hospitalizations and deaths occurring during the subsequent 20 years were analyzed by the presence or absence of atrial fibrillation at baseline. Lone atrial fibrillation was defined in the absence of other cardiovascular signs or symptoms. Cox proportional hazards models were used to adjust for age and cardiovascular conditions. After 20 years, 42 (89%) of the 47 women with atrial fibrillation had a cardiovascular event (death or hospitalization), compared with 2276 (27%) of the 8307 women without this arrhythmia. Among men, 35 (66%) of 53 with atrial fibrillation had an event, compared with 3151 (45%) of 6999 without atrial fibrillation. In women, atrial fibrillation was an independent predictor of cardiovascular events (rate ratio [RR] = 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.1-4.2), fatal or nonfatal strokes (RR = 3.2; 95% CI: 1.0-5.0), and heart failure (RR = 3.4; 95% CI: 1.9-6.2). The rate ratios among men were 1.8 (95% CI: 1.3-2.5) for cardiovascular events, 2.5 (95% CI: 1.3-4.8) for strokes, and 3.4 (95% CI: 1.7-6.8) for heart failure. Atrial fibrillation was an independent predictor of all-cause mortality in women (RR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.5-3.2) and men (RR = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.2-2.2). However, lone atrial fibrillation (which occurred in 15 subjects) was not associated with a statistically significant increase in either cardiovascular events (RR = 1.5; 95% CI: 0.6-3.6) or mortality (RR = 1.8; 95% CI: 0.9-3.8). Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased long-term risk of stroke, heart failure, and all-cause mortality, especially in women.
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            Appendage obliteration to reduce stroke in cardiac surgical patients with atrial fibrillation.

            Left atrial appendage obliteration was historically ineffective for the prevention of postoperative stroke in patients with rheumatic atrial fibrillation who underwent operative mitral valvotomy. It is, however, a routine part of modern "curative" operations for nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation, such as the maze and corridor procedures. To assess the potential of left atrial appendage obliteration to prevent stroke in nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation patients, we reviewed previous reports that identified the etiology of atrial fibrillation and evaluated the presence and location of left atrial thrombus by transesophageal echocardiography, autopsy, or operation. Twenty-three separate studies were reviewed, and 446 of 3,504 (13%) rheumatic atrial fibrillation patients, and 222 of 1,288 (17%) nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation patients had a documented left atrial thrombus. Anticoagulation status was variable and not controlled for. Thrombi were localized to, or were present in the left atrial appendage and extended into the left atrial cavity in 254 of 446 (57%) of patients with rheumatic atrial fibrillation. In contrast, 201 of 222 (91%) of nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation-related left atrial thrombi were isolated to, or originated in the left atrial appendage (p < 0.0001). These data suggest that left atrial appendage obliteration is a strategy of potential value for stroke prophylaxis in nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation.
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              A comparison of rate control and rhythm control in patients with recurrent persistent atrial fibrillation.

              Maintenance of sinus rhythm is the main therapeutic goal in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, recurrences of atrial fibrillation and side effects of antiarrhythmic drugs offset the benefits of sinus rhythm. We hypothesized that ventricular rate control is not inferior to the maintenance of sinus rhythm for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. We randomly assigned 522 patients who had persistent atrial fibrillation after a previous electrical cardioversion to receive treatment aimed at rate control or rhythm control. Patients in the rate-control group received oral anticoagulant drugs and rate-slowing medication. Patients in the rhythm-control group underwent serial cardioversions and received antiarrhythmic drugs and oral anticoagulant drugs. The end point was a composite of death from cardiovascular causes, heart failure, thromboembolic complications, bleeding, implantation of a pacemaker, and severe adverse effects of drugs. After a mean (+/-SD) of 2.3+/-0.6 years, 39 percent of the 266 patients in the rhythm-control group had sinus rhythm, as compared with 10 percent of the 256 patients in the rate-control group. The primary end point occurred in 44 patients (17.2 percent) in the rate-control group and in 60 (22.6 percent) in the rhythm-control group. The 90 percent (two-sided) upper boundary of the absolute difference in the primary end point was 0.4 percent (the prespecified criterion for noninferiority was 10 percent or less). The distribution of the various components of the primary end point was similar in the rate-control and rhythm-control groups. Rate control is not inferior to rhythm control for the prevention of death and morbidity from cardiovascular causes and may be appropriate therapy in patients with a recurrence of persistent atrial fibrillation after electrical cardioversion. Copyright 2002 Massachusetts Medical Society
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                TCRM
                tcriskman
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                02 May 2019
                2019
                : 15
                : 613-626
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nephrological, Anesthesiological and Geriatric Sciences, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Policlinico Umberto I , Rome, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Carlo LavalleDepartment of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nephrological, Anesthesiological and Geriatric Sciences, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Policlinico Umberto I , Rome Viale del Policlinico, 155, Rome, RM00161, ItalyTel +39 33 537 6901Email carlolavalle@ 123456yahoo.it
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                Article
                201162
                10.2147/TCRM.S201162
                6504667
                © 2019 Lavalle et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Tables: 4, References: 93, Pages: 14
                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                thrombus, atrial fibrillation, rivaroxaban, novel oral anticoagulants, cardioversion

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