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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Statins and amiodarone improve freedom from recurrence of atrial fibrillation after successful cardioversion

Franjo Naji, David Suran, Vojko Kanic, Damijan Vokac, Miso Sabovic

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(9): CR494-498

ID: 878181

Available online:

Published: 2009-08-31


Background: Amiodarone is effective in preventing atrial fibrillation (AF). Recently, the possible antiarrhythmic effects of statins have been revealed. We hypothesized that statins added to amiodarone may reduce the recurrence rate of AF after successful electrical cardioversion (EC).
Material and Method: The retrospective analysis included 198 consecutive patients (63+/-10 years; 56% men) with persistent AF (lasting at least one month, average 5.8+/-7.6 months) who underwent successful EC. All patients were put on long-time treatment with amiodarone according to standard protocol prior to EC; 50 patients (25%) also received statin therapy. AF recurrence was recorded in the following two years.
Results: Recurrence of AF occurred less frequently in patients receiving statins and amiodarone than in those receiving amiodarone only (24 (48.0%) vs. 95 (64.1%) patients). The mean AF-free period was significantly prolonged in the statin-amiodarone group (513+/-38 days vs. 374+/-25 days, log rank test P<0.02). Cox univariate analysis showed that treatment with statins and the duration of AF before EC were significant predictors for AF recurrence. After adjustment for other potential confounders, statin therapy proved to be a statistically significant predictor of sinus rhythm maintenance (adjusted OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.93, P=0.02).
Conclusions: Our study shows that adding statins to amiodarone significantly decreases the recurrence rate of AF after successful EC in patients with persistent AF. Our findings urge for prospective randomized studies to be performed in order to confirm these results and elucidate the role of statins in AF prevention.

Keywords: Recurrence - prevention & control, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors - therapeutic use, Electric Countershock, Atrial Fibrillation - therapy, Anti-Arrhythmia Agents - therapeutic use, Amiodarone - therapeutic use