Navigation Links
Atrial fibrillation: Flec-SL trial proves efficacy of short-term antiarrhythmic drug treatment
Date:6/18/2012

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequently sustained arrhythmia of the heart. It affects several million people in Europe. AF causes a loss of contraction in the atria and gives rise to heart failure. Moreover, it is associated with a high risk of stroke. One in five strokes is due to AF.

In most cases, AF can be treated successfully by an electrical cardioversion. Unfortunately, in the majority of patients, AF recurs during the first days or weeks after cardioversion. This is due to electrical reorganisation processes in the atria which contribute to recurrent AF in patients. Antiarrhythmic drug treatment can reverse parts of the electrical remodeling process and prevent recurrences of AF.

It is well-known that the atria recover from electrical remodeling within four weeks after cardioversion. Beyond this period, AF relapses occur much less frequently, suggesting that antiarrhythmic drug treatment might be needed only in the first four weeks after cardioversion. However, a long-term treatment is usually applied. A shorter duration of drug treatment (therapeutic de-escalation) would make therapy safer, cheaper, and applicable for more patients.

AFNET, the German Competence Network on Atrial Fibrillation, therefore performed a randomized clinical trial to investigate whether a short-term antiarrhythmic drug treatment for the duration of four weeks after cardioversion could prevent recurrences of AF as effectively as the usual long-term treatment ("non inferiority trial"). This was assessed using the approved drug flecainide. The Flec-SL (flecainide short long) trial was conducted by AFNET under the direction of principal investigators Prof. Paulus Kirchhof, Birmingham UK and Muenster, Germany, and Prof. Guenter Breithardt, Muenster, Germany, both prominent members of EHRA, the European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Between May 2007 and March 2010, more than 600 patients were enrolled in the study at 44 centres in Germany. Patients were randomised to different groups where they were treated with flecainide for either four weeks or six months. Additionally, there was a control group without antiarrhythmic drug treatment. In all study patients, recurrences of AF were assessed by daily trans-telephonic ECGs within the observation period of six months.

Analysis of the study data reveals: antiarrhythmic long-term treatment is superior to short-term treatment, but also the four-week short-term treatment was able to prevent recurrences of AF: AF relapses occurred in 120 of 261 patients receiving short-term treatment and only in 103 of 263 patients receiving long-term treatment. At the end of the study, short-term therapy reached about 80 percent of the effect of long-term therapy.

Principal investigator Prof. Kirchhof, is sure that these findings have implications for clinical routine: "Although antiarrhythmic short-term treatment is inferior to long-term treatment, it will be useful in selected patients. Short-term treatment should be considered for AF patients who are at increased risk for complications or adverse effects. We hope that the new results find their way into guidelines for the management of AF."


'/>"/>
Contact: Angelika Leute
angelika.leute@ukmuenster.de
0049-202-262-3395
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Palpitations are predictive of future atrial fibrillation
2. Psychoeducational intervention changes patient attitudes on clinical trials participation
3. Alzheimers vaccine trial a success
4. Canada should significantly increase its funding of randomized clinical trials
5. Breast cancer clinical trial tests combo of heat shock protein inhibitor and hormonal therapy
6. Experts call for clinical trials to test non-skeletal benefits of vitamin D
7. Trial Set to See if Drug Can Prevent Alzheimers
8. New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promise in Trial
9. US spends far more for health care than 12 industrialized nations, but quality varies
10. Analysis Finds Clinical Trials Often Small, of Poor Quality
11. URMC clinical trial tests new regimen for hypertension
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa has initiated ... regulations. This is the first time that Coolsculpting is being used for for ... six months to ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured by the circumference-based ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... With a team of certified experts, Validation Center ... its GMP accreditation, Validation Center is also a registered authority of the international ... , Validation Center is ISO17025 accredited and only offers its clients the latest ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... thousands of defective respirators, according to court documents and SEC filings. A ... and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case No. BC588866, Los Angeles County, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... On Memorial Day, Hope For Heroes ... in military battle for the country. The nonprofit Hope For Heroes partnered with ... that empower independence for disabled military veterans, as well as police, firemen, and EMS ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... , ... MadgeTech will be showcasing its line of data logging products ... the MadgeTech headquarters. With products sold in more than 100 countries around the world, ... , In 2012, NASA strategically set up 17 RHTemp101A MadgeTech data loggers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Niederländische Chirurgen ... die es Ärzten erlaubt, ihre Expertise weltweit zu ... kombiniert Live Streaming mit einer Instant-Messaging-Funktion und der ... Mediziner in Europa, Afrika, Asien und den ... die Plattform registriert. Information und Weiterbildung   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers from ... organs from the inside out.  This disease has put ... on her children and grandchildren to leave her home.  ... Diana,s family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if there ... car, and Diana is left to wait for the ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- Joe Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior vice president of sales, announced ... role, Marziani will lead the company,s business development and sales team, exploring new opportunities ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: