Vernakalant as a Novel Anti-Arrhythmic Agent for Converting of Atrial Fibrillation, Molecular Mechanism, Updated Clinical Efficacy, and Future Development

Author(s): Shaojie Chen , Shaowen Liu , Helmut Purerfellner .

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 21 , Issue 30 , 2015


The rising incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) has stimulated researches to identify novel therapeutic options for such most common and refractory cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice. Rhythm control strategy is shown to be associated with a lower risk of progression to permanent AF and greater clinical benefit as compared with rate control. Remarkable progress has been witnessed in rhythm control strategy particularly along with the development of mapping and ablation technology, while still should pharmacological cardioversion serve as an integrated approach for the management of AF especially in the emergency department or centers not equipped with ablation professionals. Concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of existing conventional antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) limit their clinical use. Vernakalant, with its relatively atrial selective antiarrhythmic profile, is developed as a novel AAD for pharmacological cardioversion of AF. Its mechanisms involve potassium and sodium channels blocking effects during atrial action potential. A series of clinical trials have demonstrated the rapid, efficacious and safe effect of vernakalant over placebo or conventional AADs in terminating recent-onset AF among patients with structurally normal or minimal heart disease; but current evidence does not show a superior role of vernakalant in treating long-duration AF or atrial flutter. More evidence with respect to comparisons of vernakalant with conventional AADs as well as their synergic effects is needed. Cost-effectiveness analyses of vernakalant applied in prospective and “real world” practice remain to be assessed.

Keywords: Cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, rhythm control, pharmacological cardioversion, antiarrhythmic drug, vernakalant, catheter ablation.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [4400 - 4408]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1381612821666150803145828
Price: $58

Article Metrics

PDF: 28