Long-term use of amiodarone before heart transplantation significantly reduces early post-transplant atrial fibrillation and is not associated with increased mortality after heart transplantation
Received 10 September 2015
Accepted for publication 30 October 2015
Published 16 February 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 677—686
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Rasika Samarasinghe
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Wei Duan
Rasmus Rivinius,1 Matthias Helmschrott,1 Arjang Ruhparwar,2 Bastian Schmack,2 Christian Erbel,1 Christian A Gleissner,1 Mohammadreza Akhavanpoor,1 Lutz Frankenstein,1 Fabrice F Darche,1 Patrick A Schweizer,1 Dierk Thomas,1 Philipp Ehlermann,1 Tom Bruckner,3 Hugo A Katus,1 Andreas O Doesch1
1Department of Cardiology, Angiology and Pneumology, 2Department of Cardiac Surgery, Heidelberg University Hospital, 3Institute for Medical Biometry and Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Background: Amiodarone is a frequently used antiarrhythmic drug in patients with end-stage heart failure. Given its long half-life, pre-transplant use of amiodarone has been controversially discussed, with divergent results regarding morbidity and mortality after heart transplantation (HTX).
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of long-term use of amiodarone before HTX on early post-transplant atrial fibrillation (AF) and mortality after HTX.
Methods: Five hundred and thirty patients (age ≥18 years) receiving HTX between June 1989 and December 2012 were included in this retrospective single-center study. Patients with long-term use of amiodarone before HTX (≥1 year) were compared to those without long-term use (none or <1 year of amiodarone). Primary outcomes were early post-transplant AF and mortality after HTX. The Kaplan–Meier estimator using log-rank tests was applied for freedom from early post-transplant AF and survival.
Results: Of the 530 patients, 74 (14.0%) received long-term amiodarone therapy, with a mean duration of 32.3±26.3 months. Mean daily dose was 223.0±75.0 mg. Indications included AF, Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. Patients with long-term use of amiodarone before HTX had significantly lower rates of early post-transplant AF (P=0.0105). Further, Kaplan–Meier analysis of freedom from early post-transplant AF showed significantly lower rates of AF in this group (P=0.0123). There was no statistically significant difference between patients with and without long-term use of amiodarone prior to HTX in 1-year (P=0.8596), 2-year (P=0.8620), 5-year (P=0.2737), or overall follow-up mortality after HTX (P=0.1049). Moreover, Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed no statistically significant difference in overall survival (P=0.1786).
Conclusion: Long-term use of amiodarone in patients before HTX significantly reduces early post-transplant AF and is not associated with increased mortality after HTX.
Keywords: amiodarone, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, heart transplantation, mortality
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