Outpatient initiation of dofetilide: insights from the complexities of atrial fibrillation management during the COVID-19 lockdown

Daniel A.N. Mascarenhas, Praveen C. Mudumbi, Bharat K. Kantharia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: At peak COVID-19 lockdown, patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) were faced with an equipoise between a palliative rate-control versus cautious rhythm-control strategy, including hospitalization for initiation of antiarrhythmic drug/s (AADs) and cardiac procedures which was impossible due to hospitalization restrictions. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of outpatient initiation of dofetilide in patients with AF using cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) for rhythm and QTc interval monitoring. Methods: Adult patients with symptomatic AF with prior failure or intolerance to other AADs were enrolled if they were willing to in-office insertion of implantable loop recorders or already implanted with pacemakers or defibrillators capable of remote monitoring. Exclusion criteria were known medical contraindications of dofetilide and unable to provide consent. After making a shared management decision, dofetilide was initiated in a physician office, and rhythm and QTc intervals were monitored by ECGs and CIEDs. Patients were followed to assess the efficacy and safety of the treatment. Results: The study cohort comprised of 30 patients, age 76 ± 7 years (mean ± standard deviation), 10 female (33%), CHA2DS2-VASc score 3.25 ± 1.3, ejection fraction 63.45% ± 8.52, and QTc interval 431.68 ± 45.09 ms. From 22 (73%) patients in AF at presentation, SR was restored in 14 (64%) patients after 4 doses of dofetilide. At 46 ± 59 days of follow-up, maintenance of SR in total 22 (73%) patients without cardiac adverse effects was accomplished. Conclusion: Effective and safe outpatient initiation of dofetilide during the extenuating circumstance of COVID-19 lockdown was possible in patients with AF who had CIEDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Antiarrhythmic drugs
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • CIED
  • COVID-19 lockdown
  • Dofetilide
  • Remote monitoring
  • SARS-CoV-2 corona virus


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