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Atorvastatin and persistent atrial fibrillation following cardioversion: a randomized placebo-controlled multicentre study

Henrik Almroth, Niklas Höglund, Kurt Boman, Anders Englund, Steen Jensen, Björn Kjellman, Per Tornvall, Mårten Rosenqvist
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehp006 827-833 First published online: 6 February 2009


Aims To evaluate the effect of atorvastatin in achieving stable sinus rhythm (SR) 30 days after electrical cardioversion (CV) in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods and results The study included 234 patients. The patients were randomized to treatment with atorvastatin 80 mg daily (n = 118) or placebo (n = 116) in a prospective, double-blinded fashion. Treatment was initiated 14 days before CV and was continued 30 days after CV. The two groups were well-balanced with respect to baseline characteristics. Mean age was 65 ± 10 years, 76% of the patients were male and 4% had ischaemic heart disease. Study medication was well-tolerated in all patients but one. Before primary endpoint 12 patients were excluded. In the atorvastatin group 99 patients (89%) converted to SR at electrical CV compared with 95 (86%) in the placebo group (P = 0.42). An intention-to-treat analysis with the available data, by randomization group, showed that 57 (51%) in the atorvastatin group and 47 (42%) in the placebo group were in SR 30 days after CV (OR 1.44, 95%CI 0.85–2.44, P = 0.18).

Conclusion Atorvastatin was not statistically superior to placebo with regards to maintaining SR 30 days after CV in patients with persistent AF.

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Randomized
  • Cardioversion
  • Trials
  • Placebo-controlled
  • Lipids
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