Acute Conversion of Recent-Onset Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter: Class IC or Class III Drugs?

  • R. F. Guaragna
  • C. H. Chen
  • D. Bracchetti
Conference paper


How long atrial fibrillation should go on, in order to be considered of recent onset (less than 24 h? 7 days? more?), is a moot point that raises confusion when it comes to evaluating the efficacy of an antiarrhythmic regimen. In any case, the longer the arrhythmia continues, the less likely is its conversion into sinus rhythm, because of the electric remodeling of the atria (shortening of the refractory period) caused by the persistent fibrillation. Similarly, the risk of thromboembolic complications increases with the duration of the arrhythmia, so that any attempt at cardioversion beyond 48 h must be carried out after full anticoagulation therapy [1]. If recent-onset atrial fibrillation or flutter bring about hemodynamic instability, electrical cardioversion is recommended (success rate 75%–95%), otherwise sinus rhythm can be restored using antiarrhythmic drugs.


Atrial Fibrillation Sinus Rhythm Antiarrhythmic Drug Atrial Flutter Antiarrhythmic Agent 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Guaragna
    • 1
  • C. H. Chen
    • 1
  • D. Bracchetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Unità Operativa di CardiologiaOspedale MaggioreBolognaItaly

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