Objective: In this study, our aim was to evaluate the effect of a higher dose of atorvastatin on the recurrence rate of atrial fibrillation (AF) after electrical cardioversion (EC) in addition to antiarrhythmic therapy. Subjects and Methods: 48 patients with persistent AF were included in this study. The patients were randomized to an atorvastatin 40-mg treatment group and a control group. Atorvastatin was started 3 weeks before EC and was continued for 2 months after EC. EC was performed using biphasic shocks after 3 weeks of treatment with the orally administered anticoagulant warfarin. Lipid and inflammatory parameters (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, white blood cell count and fibrinogen level) were evaluated at the baseline and before EC. The endpoint of this study was electrocardiographically confirmed recurrence of AF of >10 min. Results: There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics and lipid and inflammatory marker levels between the treatment and control groups. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels were significantly decreased in patients taking atorvastatin for 2 months compared with baseline values (174 ± 31 vs. 129 ± 25 mg/dl, p = 0.001, and 112 ± 23 vs. 62 ± 20 mg/dl, p = 0.001, respectively), while no significant change occurred in control patients (168 ± 26 vs. 182 ± 29 mg/dl, p = 0.07, and 99 ± 18 vs. 108 ± 26 mg/dl, p = 0.1, respectively). At the end of the 2-month follow-up period, 9 patients (20.5%) experienced AF recurrence, and there was no significant difference in AF recurrence rate between the treatment and control groups (26 vs. 13%; p = 0.2). Conclusion: Atorvastatin therapy prior to EC does not prevent the recurrence of arrhythmia in patients with persistent AF who are receiving antiarrhythmic therapy.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Electrical cardioversion