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Circulation Journal
Vol. 70 (2006) No. 8 p. 965-970

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http://doi.org/10.1253/circj.70.965

Clinical Investigation

Background The present study aimed to determine whether quality of life (QOL) in permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) patients would be improved by monotherapy with β-blocker (BB) or calcium antagonist (CAA) as compared with digitalis. Methods and Results Twenty-nine patients with permanent AF under digitalis were randomized into BB (bisoprolol, atenolol or metoprolol) or CAA (verapamil) monotherapy treatment group. Twenty-five were men and the mean age was 67±8 years. After the assigned monotherapy, 12 patients received the other monotherapy in a cross-over fashion. Under each treatment, efficacy of rate control was determined by Holter electrocardiogram (ECG), treadmill testing and QOL questionnaire (Short Form-36 (SF-36) and Quality of Life of Atrial Fibrillation (AFQLQ)), and compared with the baseline digitalis treatment. CAA significantly increased mean and minimum heart rate (HR) in Holter ECG as compared with digitalis, whereas BB increased only minimum HR. Exercise duration in treadmill testing was significantly prolonged by CAA treatment, although it only tended to be prolonged by BB treatment. CAA but not BB improved role function-physical score of SF-36, and frequency and severity of symptoms of AFQLQ. Conclusion These results indicate that CAA is preferable to digitalis when monotherapy is selected for short-term improvement of QOL and exercise tolerance in patients with permanent AF. (Circ J 2006; 70: 965 - 970)

Copyright © 2006 THE JAPANESE CIRCULATION SOCIETY

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