Propafenone for the Treatment of Supraventricular Tachycardia and Atrial Fibrillation: A Meta-Analysis

S. C. Reimold, W. H. Maisel, E. M. Antman, J. A. Reiffel, S. C. Reimold

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46 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine propafenone's effectiveness in terminating and suppressing supraventricular arrhythmias using meta-analytic techniques. Published abstracts and manuscripts with these goals were selected and data abstracted on conversion and maintenance of sinus rhythm. Data were pooled using standard meta-analytic techniques and analyzed according to observation times, trial design (randomized versus nonrandomized), and route of drug administration. Propafenone successfully terminated 83.8% (95% confidence interval 78.1-89.7%) of supraventricular tachycardias. For supraventricular tachycardias, the proportion of patients remaining in sinus rhythm without recurrent arrhythmia was 64.6% (58.1-71.1%) at 1 year. The likelihood of converting a paroxysm of atrial fibrillation (AF) increased over time, with 76.1% (72.8-79.4%) of patients in sinus rhythm 24 hours after initiation of therapy. Patients receiving intravenous therapy were more likely to convert to sinus rhythm in the first 4 hours after drug administration. The treatment benefit of propafenone versus placebo in converting sinus rhythm was greatest in the first 8 hours after treatment (treatment benefit of 31.5% [24.5-38.5%] at 4 hours and 32.9% [24.3-41.5%] at 8 hours, p <0.01). This treatment benefit decreased to 11.0% (-0.6-22.4%) after 24 hours. Propafenone was effective in suppressing recurrences of AF in 55.4% (51.3-59.7%) at 6 months and 56.8% (52.3-61.3%) at 12 months. Thus, propafenone is effective in terminating supraventricular tachycardias and AF in the vast majority of patients. Suppression of arrhythmia recurrences is feasible in most patients, although its effectiveness decreases over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66N-71N
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number7 A
StatePublished - Oct 16 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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