ORLANDO, Fla. — Patients with atrial fibrillation who received the novel antiarrthyhmic drug vernakalant had faster conversion time to sinus rhythm and greater conversion success than patients assigned ibutilide.
Researchers hypothesized that the multichannel blocker vernakalant (Brinavess, Cardiome Pharma) would perform differently in patients with recent-onset AF than ibutilide.
Alexander Spiel, MD, from Medical University of Vienna, and colleagues randomly assigned 100 patients with recent-onset AF presenting to the ED of a tertiary care center to up to two short infusions of vernakalant (3 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg) or ibutilide (1 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg). The researchers recorded time to conversion, conversion rates, adverse events and other parameters.
According to findings presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, the median time to conversion from AF to sinus rhythm was 10 minutes in those assigned vernakalant vs. 26 minutes in those assigned ibutilide (P = .02).
In addition, the rate of conversion success within 90 minutes was 69% in the vernakalant group vs. 43% in the ibutilide group (P = .01).
No serious adverse events were reported in either group.
Vernakalant has not been approved for use in the United States. - by Erik Swain
Simon A, et al. Abstract 165. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 7-11, 2015; Orlando, Fla.
Disclosure: Spiel reports receiving a research grant from the Jubiläumsfonds of the Austrian National Bank.