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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

Authors Rivinius R, Helmschrott M, Ruhparwar A, Schmack B, Erbel C, Gleissner CA, Akhavanpoor M, Frankenstein L, Darche FF, Schweizer P, Thomas D, Ehlermann P, Bruckner T, Katus HA, Doesch A

Received 10 September 2015

Accepted for publication 30 October 2015

Published 16 February 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 677—686

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S96126

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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