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Nicklas Vinter

Cardioversion of atrial fibrillation in a real-world setting: non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants ensure a fast and safe strategy compared to warfarin

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Aims: Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are increasingly used as thromboembolic prophylaxis in cardioversion. We examined the waiting time to cardioversion and the outcomes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) of > 48 h of duration who were treated with either NOACs or warfarin.

Methods and results: Anticoagulation was handled in a structured, multidisciplinary AF-clinic. The objectives were the waiting time to cardioversion, and thromboembolism and major bleeding events within 60 days. In total, 2150 electrical cardioversions were performed; 684 (31.8%) of patients were on NOACs and 1466 (68.2%) were on warfarin. The waiting time to non-TOE-guided cardioversion was significantly shorter in the NOAC group compared with the warfarin group for all cardioversions (P < 0.001 for log-rank test) and for first-time cardioversions (P < 0.001 for log-rank test). For all non-TOE-guided cardioversions, 80% of procedures on NOACs and 67% of procedures on warfarin were performed within 25 days (P < 0.001). Thromboembolism occurred in one patient (0.15%) receiving NOAC and in two patients (0.14%) receiving warfarin (risk ratio (RR) 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.10-11.81). Major bleeding events occurred in four patients (0.58%) in the NOAC group and 11 patients (0.75%) in the warfarin group (RR 0.78; 95% CI 0.25-2.43).

Conclusion: In a real-world clinical setting with anticoagulation handled in a structured multidisciplinary AF clinic, the waiting time to cardioversion was shorter with NOACs compared to warfarin. The rates of thromboembolism and major bleeding events were low, with NOACs shown to be as effective and safe as warfarin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1085
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Atrial fibrillation, Non-Vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants, Cardioversion, Thromboembolism, AF clinic, Warfarin Stroke, Humans, Middle Aged, Male, Thromboembolism/etiology, Anticoagulants/administration & dosage, Time Factors, Retrospective Studies, Atrial Fibrillation/diagnosis, Time-to-Treatment, Administration, Oral, Risk Factors, Stroke/etiology, Treatment Outcome, Electric Countershock/adverse effects, Warfarin/administration & dosage, Hemorrhage/chemically induced, Aged, Vitamin K/antagonists & inhibitors

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