Atorvastatin for prevention of atrial fibrillation recurrence following pulmonary vein isolation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial

Heart Rhythm. 2012 Feb;9(2):172-8. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2011.09.016. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Background: It is known that statins are effective in preventing atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of statins in preventing AF recurrence following left atrial ablation.

Methods: One hundred twenty-five patients who had no statin indication undergoing catheter ablation due to drug-refractory paroxysmal (n = 90) or persistent (n = 35) AF were randomized in a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to receive 80 mg atorvastatin (n = 62) or placebo (n = 63) for 3 months. The primary endpoint was freedom from symptomatic AF at 3 months. Secondary endpoints included freedom from any atrial arrhythmia recurrence irrespective of symptoms, quality of life (QoL), and reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP).

Results: At 3 months, 95% of patients in the atorvastatin group were free of symptomatic AF compared with 93.5% in the placebo group (P = .75). Similarly, 85% of patients treated in the atorvastatin group remained free of any recurrent atrial arrhythmia vs 88% of patients in the placebo group (P = .37). Mean CRP levels decreased in the atorvastatin group (mean change -0.75 ± 3, P = .02) and increased in the placebo group (mean change 2.1 ± 19.9, P = .48). Mean QoL score improved significantly in both groups (mean change 13.14 ± 18.2 in the atorvastatin group and 11.10 ± 17.7 in the placebo group, P = .53).

Conclusion: In patients with no standard indication for statin therapy, treatment with atorvastatin 80 mg/day following AF ablation does not decrease the risk of AF recurrence in the first 3 months and should not be routinely administered to prevent periprocedural arrhythmias.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Atorvastatin
  • Atrial Fibrillation / prevention & control*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pulmonary Veins / surgery*
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Pyrroles
  • Atorvastatin