The present study assessed the efficacy and safety of vernakalant hydrochloride (RSD1235), a novel compound, for the conversion of atrial fibrillation (AF).
Patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive vernakalant or placebo and were stratified by AF duration of 3 hours to 7 days (short duration) and 8 to 45 days (long duration). A first infusion of placebo or vernakalant (3 mg/kg) was given for 10 minutes, followed by a second infusion of placebo or vernakalant (2 mg/kg) 15 minutes later if AF was not terminated. The primary end point was conversion of AF to sinus rhythm for at least 1 minute within 90 minutes of the start of drug infusion in the short-duration AF group. A total of 336 patients were randomized and received treatment (short duration, n=220; long duration, n=116). Of the 145 vernakalant patients, 75 (51.7%) in the short-duration AF group converted to sinus rhythm (median time, 11 minutes) compared with 3 of the 75 placebo patients (4.0%; P