Cardioversion Following Prosthetic Mitral Valve Replacement
Direct current conversion of atrial fibrillation has been attempted in 60 consecutive patients following prosthetic mitral valve replacement (Starr-Edwards prosthesis). Sinus rhythm was attained and persisted for at least 24 hours after the procedure in 68% (41 patients) and 40% of the entire group (24 patients) were still in normal sinus rhythm an average of 10 months later. Successful initial conversion and persistence of sinus rhythm occurred most frequently in patients whose duration of atrial fibrillation was less than 5 years and who had a small left atrium.
Results differed little whether conversion was attempted 7 to 21 days or 1 to 15 months after open valve replacement. Atrial disease associated with a long period of antecedent atrial fibrillation and marked left atrial enlargement appeared to be the most important factors responsible for persistence of atrial fibrillation or early relapse. Attempts at cardioversion are recommended for all patients with persistent atrial fibrillation following mitral valve replacement in view of the high success rate and the safety of the procedure.
- © 1967 American Heart Association, Inc.