SOAR: Study Observing Antiarrhythmic Remodelling Using LGE-MRI (SOAR)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01182376
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 16, 2010
Results First Posted : February 19, 2016
Last Update Posted : February 19, 2016
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Nassir F. Marrouche, MD, University of Utah

August 11, 2010
August 16, 2010
September 10, 2015
February 19, 2016
February 19, 2016
November 2010
December 2012   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
LA Fibrosis [ Time Frame: baseline, 1 year ]
The change in left atrial fibrosis percentage, as measured on a scale, using MRI imaging, from baseline to the end of treatment.
LA Fibrosis [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
The change from baseline to twelve months post initiation of the study treatments in left atrial fibrosis burden as measured by percentage of LGE-MRI.
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT01182376 on Archive Site
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  • Left Ventricular Fibrosis [ Time Frame: 1 Year ]
    Left ventricular fibrosis as assessed by LGE-MRI in the two arms of the study.
  • LA and LV Dimensional and Volumetric Measures [ Time Frame: 1 Year ]
    Left atrial and ventricular dimensional and volumetric measurements by MR, as markers of disease progression/regression in the two arms of the study.
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SOAR: Study Observing Antiarrhythmic Remodelling Using LGE-MRI
SOAR: Study Observing Antiarrhythmic Remodelling Using LGE-MRI
The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate how dronedarone (Multaq®) may aid in the slowing of progression of left atrial and ventricular fibrosis in patients with atrial fibrillation as assessed by late gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance imaging.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) arises as a result of a complex interaction between triggers, perpetuators and substrate. As early as 1995, Morillo et al have demonstrated that AF is associated with ultrastructural changes in myocytes. In animal models, alterations in myocytes after sustained AF resemble those of myocardial hybernation with a phenotypical adaptation towards a more fetal stage. Ultimately, these structural changes would lead to Calcium overload and metabolic stress, similar changes have been observed in humans. However, in humans, atrial dilatation and degenerative changes have been observed. Interstitial fibrosis (caused by deposits of collagen and fibronectin) is the prime cause of structural remodeling in left atrium (Boldt et al., 2004). It has been well established that fibrosis is a confounding clinical factor in causing AF (Kostin et al., 2002). But AF itself promotes fibrosis, which in turn leads to increased conduction heterogeneity within the atrial substrate resulting in further progression of AF (Everett,and Olgin, 2007).

The recent introduction of Late Gadolinium enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (LGE-MRI) sequence now allows for non-invasive assessment of the location and extent of arrhythmia related fibrosis.

Contrast enhancement occurs as a result of altered washout kinetics of gadolinium relative to normal surrounding tissue, which may reflect increased fibrosis or tissue remodeling of the myocardium. Our group has demonstrated the feasibility of a new LGE-MRI acquisition and processing protocol to detect fibrosis in the LA.

To date, no controlled trials evaluating the effect of antiarrhythmic drugs (AAD) and regression of left atrial fibrosis as assessed by LGE-MRI has been performed. We propose to use LGE-MRI to evaluate the effects of dronedarone vs. placebo on atrial and ventricular fibrosis. It has been shown that the success of catheter ablation procedure (which has been shown to be superior in terms of maintaining sinus rhythm in AF patients when compared to anti-arrhythmic drugs) is dependent upon the extent of fibrosis (Akoum et al., in prep). In AF patients with greater than 35% enhancement (percent left atrial fibrosis), the success of catheter ablation in reducing AF recurrence is greatly reduced. Hence for these patients, a drug that can control the progression of fibrosis and simultaneously provide respite from AF recurrence would be an extremely desirable prescription.

Multaq® is the chosen drug in this study because clinical trials (Hohnloser et al., 2009) have shown that it has the potential to reduce incidence of hospitalizations due to cardiovascular events by 25.5% and death in AF patients by 45%. We acknowledge the information that Dronedarone may be more prone to AF recurrence, however, it has a better safety profile with regards to thyroid and neurologic events and does not interfere with oral anticoagulants (Le Heuzey et al., 2010), which make dronedarone a more preferred antiarrhythmic drug to be used for this study. Furthermore, in patients who took dronedarone post cardioversion procedure to revert arrhythmia back to normal sinus rhythm (NSR), dronedarone has been shown to decrease AF recurrences (Le Heuzey et al., 2010).



The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate how dronedarone may aid in the regression or slowing of progression of left atrial and ventricular fibrosis in patients with atrial fibrillation as assessed by LGE-MRI, using longitudinal data from a double-blinded, prospective study of patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation over a twelve month follow up period.


  • To study the effects of dronedarone in global parameters of myocardial remodeling such as right and left atrial volumes and right and left ventricular volumes.
  • To study correlation between AF burden expressed as percentage of AF measured by an 8-day Holter Monitoring at three, six and twelve months post initiation.
Phase 3
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Atrial Fibrillation
  • Drug: dronedarone
    Dronedarone will be prescribed by the patient's team according to established guidelines.
    Other Name: Multaq®
  • Drug: Placebo
    Placebo will be administered by the patient's team according to established guidelines.
  • Placebo Comparator: Placebo
    Half of the patients will be assigned placebo.
    Intervention: Drug: Placebo
  • Experimental: Multaq® (dronedarone)
    Half of the patients will be prescribed dronedarone.
    Intervention: Drug: dronedarone

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
December 2012
December 2012   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients age 18 and older
  • Must carry a diagnosis of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation for 1 months or longer prior to being enrolled.
  • AAD: Multaq® (dronedarone) candidate
  • Patients have given informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients who are unavailable to continue follow-up at the University of Utah outpatient clinic.
  • Patients weighing >200 lbs (MR image efficacy decreases due to density)
  • Prior RF Ablation treatment for atrial fibrillation
  • Severe renal failure manifested by a chronic GFR of < 30 mL/min, or acute renal failure regardless of the GFR, until the renal function has stabilized. (Gadolinium contraindication)
  • Enrollment in any other investigational trial for anti-arrhythmic therapy
  • Any health related Gadolinium/MRI contraindications: Pacemaker devices, etc.
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with cognitive impairments who are unable to give informed consent
  • Multaq® (dronedarone) contraindications:

    • NYHA Class IV heart failure or NYHA Class II - III heart failure with a recent decompensation requiring hospitalization or referral to a specialized heart failure clinic
    • Second- or third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block or sick sinus syndrome
    • Bradycardia < 50 bpm
    • Concomitant use of strong CYP 3A inhibitors, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, cyclosporine, telithromycin, clarithromycin, nefazodone, and ritonavir
    • Concomitant use of drugs or herbal products that prolong the QT interval and might increase the risk of Torsade de Pointes, such as phenothiazine anti-psychotics, tricyclic antidepressants, certain oral macrolide antibiotics, and Class I and III antiarrhythmics
    • QTc Bazett interval ≥ 500 ms or PR interval > 280 ms
    • Severe hepatic impairment
    • Pregnant women
    • Nursing mothers
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
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Nassir F. Marrouche, MD, University of Utah
University of Utah
Principal Investigator: Nassir F Marrouche, MD University of Utah
University of Utah
January 2016

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP