Background: Electrical cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased risk of stroke. We compared a transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)-guided strategy with a conventional strategy in patients with AF >2 days' duration undergoing electrical cardioversion over a 6-month follow-up. Methods: The ACUTE study was a multicenter, randomized, clinical trial, with 1222 patients. Six-month follow-up was available in 1034 patients (85%), 525 in the TEE group and 509 in the conventional group. The primary composite end points were cerebrovascular accident, transient ischemic attack, and peripheral embolism at 6 months, which was a prespecified time point. Secondary end points were hemorrhage, mortality, and sinus rhythm. Results: At 6 months, there was no difference in composite embolic events between the TEE group and the conventional group (10 [2%] vs 4 [0.8%]; risk ratio (RR) 2.47, 95% CI 0.78-7.88; P = .11). However, the hemorrhagic rate was significantly lower in the TEE group (23 [4.4%] vs 38 [7.5%]; RR 0.58, 96% CI 0.35-0.97; P = .04). There was no difference between the 2 treatment groups in all-cause mortality (21 [4%] vs 14 [2.8%]; RR 1.48, 95% CI 0.76-2.92; P = .25) and in the occurrence of normal sinus rhythm between the 2 groups (305 [62.2%] vs 280 [58.1%]; P = .51). Sinus rhythm at 6 months was more common in the TEE-guided group, in those patients who had direct current cardioversion (238 [62.5%] vs 151 [53.9%]; P = .03). Conclusion: The TEE-guided strategy may be considered a clinically effective alternative to a conventional anticoagulation strategy for patients with AF of >2 days' duration undergoing electrical cardioversion over a 6-month period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine