Maintenance of sinus rhythm with oral d,l-sotalol therapy in patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter. d,l-Sotalol Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter Study Group

Am J Cardiol. 1999 Aug 1;84(3):270-7. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(99)00275-1.


Currently d,l-sotalol is widely used to prevent recurrence of atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter, although a randomized dose-response study has not previously been conducted to guide therapy for this indication. This study summarizes findings of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, randomized trial evaluating the efficacy, safety, and dose-response relation of 3 fixed doses of d,l-sotalol (80, 120, and 160 mg twice daily) for the maintenance of sinus rhythm in 253 patients with atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter. All patients were in sinus rhythm at randomization. Treatment (69 patients on placebo, 59 on 80 mg, 63 on 120 mg, and 62 on 160 mg given twice daily) was continued for 12 months or until documented recurrence of symptomatic atrial fibrillation and/or flutter. Transtelephonic electrocardiographic monitoring was used to detect symptomatic recurrences. Demographic characteristics were not different in the 4 groups. Structural heart disease was present in 57% of patients. Patients with a history of heart failure were excluded. The time from randomization to symptomatic arrhythmia recurrence was significantly longer in the 2 higher d,l-sotalol dose groups than in the placebo group. The median times to recurrence were 27, 106, 229, and 175 days for the placebo, 80, 120, and 160 mg groups, respectively. There were no deaths or cases of torsade de pointes, sustained ventricular tachycardia, or ventricular fibrillation reported. Thus, d,l-sotalol appeared to be both safe and effective in maintaining sinus rhythm in patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation and/or flutter. Further, the 120-mg twice daily dose appeared to provide the most favorable benefit and/or risk.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / adverse effects
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Flutter / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Flutter / physiopathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sotalol / administration & dosage*
  • Sotalol / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Sotalol