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      Continuous Intravenous Antiarrhythmic Agents in the Intensive Care Unit : Strategies for Safe and Effective Use of Amiodarone, Lidocaine, and Procainamide

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          Amiodarone versus sotalol for atrial fibrillation.

          The optimal pharmacologic means to restore and maintain sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation remains controversial. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 665 patients who were receiving anticoagulants and had persistent atrial fibrillation to receive amiodarone (267 patients), sotalol (261 patients), or placebo (137 patients) and monitored them for 1 to 4.5 years. The primary end point was the time to recurrence of atrial fibrillation beginning on day 28, determined by means of weekly transtelephonic monitoring. Spontaneous conversion occurred in 27.1 percent of the amiodarone group, 24.2 percent of the sotalol group, and 0.8 percent of the placebo group, and direct-current cardioversion failed in 27.7 percent, 26.5 percent, and 32.1 percent, respectively. The median times to a recurrence of atrial fibrillation were 487 days in the amiodarone group, 74 days in the sotalol group, and 6 days in the placebo group according to intention to treat and 809, 209, and 13 days, respectively, according to treatment received. Amiodarone was superior to sotalol (P<0.001) and to placebo (P<0.001), and sotalol was superior to placebo (P<0.001). In patients with ischemic heart disease, the median time to a recurrence of atrial fibrillation was 569 days with amiodarone therapy and 428 days with sotalol therapy (P=0.53). Restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm significantly improved the quality of life and exercise capacity. There were no significant differences in major adverse events among the three groups. Amiodarone and sotalol are equally efficacious in converting atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. Amiodarone is superior for maintaining sinus rhythm, but both drugs have similar efficacy in patients with ischemic heart disease. Sustained sinus rhythm is associated with an improved quality of life and improved exercise performance. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            2011 ACCF/AHA Guideline for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines.

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              Interventions for prevention of post-operative atrial fibrillation and its complications after cardiac surgery: a meta-analysis.

              Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common complication after cardiac surgery. We aimed to evaluate, by meta-analysis, all randomized trials testing interventions for preventing AF. Ninety-four trials of prevention of post-operative AF were identified, by standard search methods, and analysed by standard meta-analysis techniques. All five commonly tested interventions, beta-blockers (BBs), sotalol, amiodarone, magnesium, and atrial pacing, were effective in preventing AF. The odds ratio (OR) for the effect of BB on the incidence of AF was 0.36 (95% CI 0.28-0.47, P<0.001), but after trials confounded by post-operative non-study BB withdrawal were excluded was 0.69 (95% CI 0.54-0.87, P=0.002). Sotalol reduced AF, compared with placebo (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.26-0.45, P<0.001) and compared with conventional BB (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.26-0.65, P<0.001). Amiodarone reduced AF (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.40-0.57, P<0.001). Magnesium (Mg) also had an effect (OR 0.57 95% CI 0.42-0.77) but there was significant heterogeneity (P<0.001), partly explained by concomitant BB. The effect of Mg with BB was less (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.60-1.16). Pacing reduced AF (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.47-0.77, P<0.001), despite wide variations in techniques. Only amiodarone and pacing significantly reduced length of stay, average -0.60 days (95% CI -0.92 to -0.29) and -1.3 days (95% CI -2.55 to -0.08), respectively. Collectively, all treatments analysed together reduced stroke (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.41-0.98). Amiodarone was the only intervention that alone significantly reduced stroke rate (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.30-0.95). All five interventions reduced the incidence of AF, though the effect of BBs is less than previously thought. The significant reductions in length of stay and stroke in meta-analysis suggest that there are worthwhile benefits from aggressive prevention. Larger studies to confirm these clinical benefits and evaluate their cost-effectiveness would be worthwhile.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Critical Care Nursing Quarterly
                Critical Care Nursing Quarterly
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0887-9303
                2015
                2015
                : 38
                : 4
                : 329-344
                Article
                10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000082
                f49bf5e3-c55a-4a28-bf16-7a5d1b668e9d
                © 2015

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