DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.15597 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 15597: Unlocking Rate Control in Atrial Fibrillation: A Closer Look at the Intravenous Diltiazem and Metoprolol Duel - An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Syed Zamrak Khan, Muhammad Aslam khan, Usman Akbar, Saad Farooq, Nouman Shafique, Ghanshyam Bhatta
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Background: Intravenous beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers remain first-line therapeutic agents for hemodynamically stable atrial fibrillation patients with a rapid ventricular rate (AF-RVR) in emergency medical settings.

Material and

Methods: We conducted a thorough review of various sources, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane databases, and registry. Our search covered the period from the inception of these databases up to May 20, 2023. We only selected studies that compared the effectiveness and safety of diltiazem and metoprolol in adult patients with AF-RVR who were in emergency medical settings or hospitalized. We focused on whether the drugs successfully controlled heart rate and if there were any cases of hypotension or bradycardia following drug administration.

Results: Among the 150 identified studies, 19 were suitable. All these studies demonstrated a low to moderate risk of bias. The meta-analysis, using the Mantel-Haenszel random-effects model, revealed a higher success rate in achieving the rate control target with diltiazem compared to metoprolol [19 studies, n = 1732, Odds Ratio (OR): 1.65; 95% Confidence Intervals (CI):1.18 to 2.32; I^2 = 58%, P = 0.001]. In terms of safety, no significant difference was observed in the risk of hypotension with either drug [15 studies, n = 1477, OR: 1.12; 95% CI: 0.76 to 1.64; I^2 = 25%, P = 0.18]. However, an incidence of bradycardia was noticed with diltiazem [7 studies, n = 1203, OR: 2.85; 95% CI: 1.25 to 6.46; I^2 = 21%, P = 0.27].

Conclusions: For patients with AF-RVR, intravenous diltiazem was more successful in achieving the desired rate control than metoprolol. Both drugs had similar rates of hypotension, but diltiazem had a slightly higher risk of bradycardia. These results indicate that diltiazem may be a better option for rate control in AF-RVR patients. However, high-quality randomized studies are needed to assess both medication's long-term safety and effectiveness in this group.

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