Effect of continuous versus episodic amiodarone treatment on quality of life in persistent atrial fibrillation

Sheba Ahmed, Adelita V. Ranchor, Harry J. G. M. Crijns, Dirk J. van Veldhuisen, Isabelle C. Van Gelder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Web of Science)


Amiodarone is associated with significant adverse effects. We hypothesized that episodic amiodarone treatment would be associated with better quality of life (QoL) compared with continuous treatment in the prevention of recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF). Quality of life was assessed in 158 patients from the Continuous vs. Episodic Prophylactic Treatment with Amiodarone for the Prevention of AF (CONVERT) study, using the Short Form (SF)-36 health survey and University of Toronto AF Severity Scale (AF severity scale) questionnaires at baseline and 1 year. The episodic group received amiodarone 1 month peri-cardioversion, the continuous group continued amiodarone. Patients were assessed for major adverse events and maintenance of sinus rhythm during follow-up (i.e. no AF recurrences at every follow-up visit). Quality of life (assessed by SF-36 and AF severity scale) was comparable between both treatment groups at baseline and 12 months, with similar incidence rates of major adverse events. Fewer patients in the episodic group had maintenance of sinus rhythm during follow-up [27 (36%) vs. 49 (59%), P = 0.004]. In the episodic group, maintenance of sinus rhythm was associated with a significant improvement on four SF-36 subscales and AF severity scale at 12 months. In contrast, in the continuous group no significant differences in QoL were seen between patients with continued maintenance of sinus rhythm compared with those with AF recurrence at the end of follow-up. Quality of life was comparable in the episodic and continuous treated group after 12 months of follow-up. Continued maintenance of sinus rhythm was associated with an improvement in QoL in the episodic but not the continuous treated group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-791
JournalEP Europace
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Amiodarone
  • Quality of life

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