Ibutilide in rapid conversion of atrial flutter in octogenarians

Roberto Antonicelli, Paolo Testarmata, Andrea Recanatini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Atrial flutter is a common sustained atrial tachyarrhythmia for which frequency increases with age. Ibutilide is a novel class III antiarrhythmic agent used for the rapid cardioversion of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Aim: The aim of our study was to assess the use of ibutilide in a selected population of very elderly patients (octogenarians) with recent-onset atrial flutter. Method: Twenty-nine consecutive elderly patients (11 male, 18 female; mean age 83 ± 3 years; interquartile range of 10) with recent-onset atrial flutter were included in the study; none of them had signs or symptoms of severe heart failure, angina or impaired renal or hepatic function. All patients underwent a 10-minute intravenous infusion of ibutilide (0.87mg in 10ml). Results: The rate of successful arrhythmia termination was 75.9% within a mean time of 31 ± 20 minutes. No clinical variables were shown to be associated with successful cardioversion, although there was a tendency towards higher efficacy in patients with a shorter duration of arrhythmia. Two female patients (6.9%) developed torsade de pointes, requiring direct current cardioversion under general anaesthesia. Episodes of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia occurred in two other patients. Conclusion: Ibutilide appears to be an effective and well tolerated drug for rapid conversion of recent-onset atrial flutter in octogenarian patients, and may represent a valid approach in the acute management of atrial flutter in this particular set of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-791
Number of pages5
JournalDrugs and Aging
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology


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