Background: n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, primarily eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), has been reported to have antiarrhythmic and antiinflammatory effects. The aim of the present study was to examine whether the combination of antiarrhythmic drugs and EPA reduced the frequency of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with paroxysmal AF. Methods: We studied 50 patients with paroxysmal AF (age, 54 ± 9 years) after excluding the clinical conditions associated with an increased risk of AF. Patients were initially treated with antiarrhythmic drugs for 6 months (the observation period), and thereafter, EPA was added at a dose of 1.8 g/day for 6 months (the intervention period). During a one-year period, patients obtained an ECG recording using a portable device each morning and when arrhythmia-related symptom occurred. The end point was the difference of the AF burden (defined by the days of AF per month) between observation period and intervention period. Plasma EPA and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were also determined. Results: There was no significant difference in the AF burden before and after intervention (2.6 ± 2.2 days/months vs. 2.5 ± 2.2 days/months, P = 0.45). Although EPA level was significantly increased (42 ± 15 μ/mL to 120 ± 47 μ/mL, P < 0.001), CRP level was unchanged (1.04 ± 0.69 mg/L to 0.96 ± 0.56 mg/L, P = 0.24) following EPA treatment. Conclusions: Treatment of EPA in combination with antiarrhythmic drugs did not reduce the AF burden or the CRP levels in paroxysmal AF patients who had no evidence of substantial structural heart disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)