Anticoagulation is routinely prescribed to patients with persistent AF before cardioversion to reduce the risk of thromboembolic events. As direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have a rapid onset of action, a consistent anticoagulant effect, if taken correctly, and do not need monitoring or dose adjustments, there is considerable interest in their use for patients with AF undergoing cardioversion. Post-hoc analyses show that DOACs are safe to use prior to and following cardioversion. In addition, two randomised controlled trials, X-VeRT and ENSURE-AF, have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of the DOACs rivaroxaban and edoxaban, respectively, in this setting. The use of DOACs allows cardioversions to be performed promptly and reduces the number of cancelled procedures compared with the use of warfarin.
Goette A et al. Arrhythm Electrophysiol Rev. 2017;6:50-54.