Safety of short-term use of dabigatran or rivaroxaban for direct-current cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter

Ajay Yadlapati*, Christopher Groh, Rod S Passman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Direct-current cardioversion (DCCV) for persistent atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter (AF) carries a risk of thromboembolic events (TEs). Therapeutic anticoagulation with warfarin is recommended for 3 to 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after DCCV to reduce TE; however, the safety of short-term anticoagulation with the novel oral anticoagulants (dabigatran and rivaroxaban) before DCCV has not been assessed. A retrospective cohort study was performed on all patients undergoing elective DCCV for AF at Northwestern Memorial Hospital from June 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. Inclusion criteria included patients taking any of the novel oral anticoagulants for 21 to 60 days before DCCV and successful DCCV to sinus rhythm. Patients were monitored for a minimum of 60 days after DCCV to evaluate for TEs including stroke, transient ischemic attack, systemic emboli, and death. In total, 53 patients (47 men, 89%; age 65 ± 10 years, median 66) were evaluated. Agents used were dabigatran (30 patients, 57%) and rivaroxaban (23 patients, 43%) for an average of 38 ± 9 days. The mean CHADS2 score was 1.2 ± 1.1 (score = 0, 26%; 1, 43%; 2, 17%; and >3, 13%). Eleven patients (21%) underwent a transesophageal echocardiography before their DCCV; all showed no thrombus. No patients were found to have episodes of TE within 60 days of DCCV. No patients were found to have major bleeding events. In conclusion, the use of short-term dabigatran or rivaroxaban therapy for DCCV of AF appears safe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1362-1363
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Volume113
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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