Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in patients visiting a primary care practice. Although many patients with atrial fibrillation experience relief of symptoms with control of the heart rate, some patients require restoration of sinus rhythm. External direct current (DC) cardioversion is the most effective means of converting atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. Pharmacologic cardioversion, although less effective, offers an alternative to DC cardioversion. Several advances have been made in antiarrhythmic medications, including the development of ibutilide, a class III antiarrhythmic drug indicated for acute cardioversion of atrial fibrillation. Other methods of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic cardioversion remain under development. Until the results of several large- scale randomized clinical trials are available, the decision to choose cardioversion or maintenance of sinus rhythm must be individualized, based on relief of symptoms and reduction of the morbidity and mortality associated with atrial fibrillation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||American Family Physician|
|State||Published - Aug 1 1998|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Family Practice