Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Internal Cardioversion with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Device for Atrial Fibrillation in Systolic Heart Failure Patients

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) commonly observed in patients with heart failure and cardioversion was often needed to restore the sinus rhythm. Previously, there is no study evaluating usefulness of internal cardioversion with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device. In this study, we aimed to compare the efficacy and long-term effects of internal cardioversion with ICD devices compared to conventional external cardioversion in patients with AF and heart failure.


Seventy patients with AF and heart failure who underwent electrical cardioversion were enrolled in the study. Forty patients (mean age 65.36 ± 10.37, 35 male) were assigned to undergo internal cardioversion with approximately 35 J shocks delivered through the ICD electrode. Standard external cardioversion was performed for the remaining patients (30 patients; mean age 66.20 ± 11.89; 24 male) that were similar with regard to baseline, and electrocardiographic characteristics.


Sinus rhythm was restored in 32 of 40 patients (80.0%) assigned to internal cardioversion compared with 25 of 30 patients (83.3%) assigned to external cardioversion (P = 0.725). We did not witness any serious complication during the procedure and hospitalization. On the follow-up, there was no statistically significant difference in recurrence of AF and incidence of major cardiovascular events between the internal and external cardioversion groups.


Internal cardioversion with ICD device is an effective and safe method to restore sinus rhythm in heart failure patients with AF.

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