Current practice of antiarrhythmic drug therapy for prevention of atrial fibrillation in Europe: The European Heart Rhythm Association survey

Nikolaos Dagres*, Thorsten Lewalter, Gregory Y. H. Lip, Laurent Pison, Alessandro Proclemer, Carina Blomstrom-Lundqvist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The aim of this survey was to provide insight into current practice regarding the use of antiarrhythmic drugs for atrial fibrillation (AF) among members of the European Heart Rhythm Association research network. Thirty-seven centres responded. Rhythm control was preferred in patients with significant AF-related symptoms by 73 of centres, in all patients after a first detected episode by 59, and in young patients even if AF was well tolerated by 49 of centres. The most common strategy after successful conversion of the first AF episode was a wait-and-see approach without initiation of antiarrhythmic drugs (49). Conventional -blockers were always or sometimes used as first-choice drugs for AF prevention by 76 of centres. Only 11 used dronedarone regularly as a first-choice drug. The diagnostic work-up for exclusion of heart disease prior to initiation of class IC antiarrhythmic drugs was limited. Markers monitored for proarrhythmia risk were QRS duration for class IC drugs (68) and the QT interval for sotalol and amiodarone (65). In conclusion, rhythm control is more widely employed than expected. Beta-blockers are widely used for AF prevention in contrast to the limited use of the new drug dronedarone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-481
JournalEP Europace
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Antiarrhythmic drugs
  • Rhythm control
  • Proarrhythmia
  • EHRA survey

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