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A Study of the Effectiveness of Anti-Arrhythmic Medications After Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Pennsylvania Identifier:
First received: December 1, 2006
Last updated: January 31, 2013
Last verified: June 2012
The purpose of this study is to examine the overall effectiveness of anti-arrhythmic medicines (to control heart rhythm) prescribed after an ablation procedure for atrial fibrillation.

Condition Intervention
Atrial Fibrillation
Drug: propafenone; flecainide; sotalol; dofetilide
Device: Radiofrequency catheter ablation

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Trial to Assess the Utility of Empirical Anti-Arrhythmic Drug Therapy to Prevent Atrial Arrhythmia During the 6 Weeks Following Pulmonary Vein Isolation to Treat Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Pennsylvania:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Composite Endpoint: Atrial Arrhythmias Lasting >24 Hrs or Requiring Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy; Need for Cardioversion/Repeat Ablation During the Study Period; Adverse Outcome/Intolerance of Antiarrhythmic Agent Requiring Cessation or Change of Drug [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Freedom From Atrial Arrhythmia at 6 Months Post Procedure. [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]

Enrollment: 110
Study Start Date: November 2006
Study Completion Date: June 2008
Primary Completion Date: April 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Subjects receive membrane-active anti-arrhythmic medication after ablation. See intervention list below.
Drug: propafenone; flecainide; sotalol; dofetilide
Above drugs prescribed per established guidelines for treatment of AF
Device: Radiofrequency catheter ablation
A special catheter that delivers radiofrequency (heat) energy is advanced into the heart and used to destroy small areas of heart tissue responsible for causing atrial fibrillation. All catheters / devices used in the study are FDA approved for human use and currently being used to perform the AF ablation procedure in the United Sates.
Subjects do not receive membrane-active anti-arrhythmic medications after ablation.
Device: Radiofrequency catheter ablation
A special catheter that delivers radiofrequency (heat) energy is advanced into the heart and used to destroy small areas of heart tissue responsible for causing atrial fibrillation. All catheters / devices used in the study are FDA approved for human use and currently being used to perform the AF ablation procedure in the United Sates.

Detailed Description:

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the US and it is associated with shortness of breath, palpitations, stroke occurrence and increased mortality. Traditional treatment for AF includes anticoagulation, drugs that slow the heart rate and antiarrhythmic agents. More recently, catheter based treatments to address atrial fibrillation have been developed, which involves using radiofrequency energy to isolate the arrhythmogenic foci localized in the pulmonary veins.

During the first weeks following pulmonary vein isolation (PVI), it is not unusual for patients to experience early recurrences of atrial fibrillation or atrial tachycardia due to irritability from the ablation. While these arrhythmias tend to resolve over time, it is nevertheless standard practice to prescribe antiarrhythmic drugs for the first 2-3 months after the intervention to prevent these early recurrences. However, the efficacy of this practice has never been formally evaluated. In addition, we have identified a small group of patients whose atrial tachycardias have terminated after cessation of antiarrhythmic therapy, suggesting that proarrhythmia from these agents may promote reentrant tachycardias in some patients. We therefore designed a study protocol that will evaluate the usefulness of short term antiarrhythmic drug therapy in order to prevent atrial fibrillation and atrial tachycardia episodes during the first 6 weeks following PVI.

The target population of the study includes all patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation referred for PVI. After the ablation procedure, patients will be randomized to receive or not receive antiarrhythmic drugs for a period of 6 weeks. Arrhythmia occurrence during this period will be monitored via twice daily transtelephonic monitoring. Clinical visits including a physical exam and 12 lead ECG recording will be scheduled at 6 weeks. The primary endpoint of the study will be a composite endpoint including 1) atrial arrhythmias persisting > 24 hours or requiring initiation of antiarrhythmic therapy 2) need for cardioversion/hospital admission 3) need for repeat ablation or 4) adverse outcome/intolerance of antiarrhythmic agent requiring drug cessation or change during the 6 week follow up period.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adult patients meeting ACC/AHA criteria for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (episodes typically last no more than 7 days and are self-terminating)
  • Eligible for pulmonary vein isolation
  • Able to tolerate antiarrhythmic medication

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Age <18
  • Persistent or permanent atrial fibrillation (episodes last >7 days and require cardioversion)
  • Antiarrhythmic treatment for indication other than atrial fibrillation
  • Contraindication or intolerance to all antiarrhythmic medications
  • Primary physician unwilling to withhold antiarrhythmic drugs for duration of the study
  • Failure to obtain informed consent
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00408200

United States, Pennsylvania
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Presbyterian Medical Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
Principal Investigator: Edward P. Gerstenfeld, MD University of Pennsylvania Health System - Cardiac Electrophysiology
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT00408200     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 805346HUP
Study First Received: December 1, 2006
Results First Received: September 12, 2012
Last Updated: January 31, 2013

Keywords provided by University of Pennsylvania:
Atrial fibrillation
Atrial arrhythmia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Atrial Fibrillation
Arrhythmias, Cardiac
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Pathologic Processes
Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
Adrenergic Antagonists
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Blockers
Sodium Channel Blockers
Membrane Transport Modulators
Potassium Channel Blockers processed this record on May 22, 2017