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Enoxaparin Cuts Cost of Atrial Fibrillation Treatment

Same outcomes as heparin in transesophageal echocardiographically guided cardioversion

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with atrial fibrillation, using enoxaparin with transesophageal echocardiographically guided cardioversion is as effective as using unfractionated heparin and reduces the total cost of treatment, according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Liping Zhao, of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a study of 155 patients with atrial fibrillation who underwent transesophageal echocardiographically guided cardioversion, of whom 76 received enoxaparin and 79 received unfractionated heparin. The researchers compared the cost of initial and subsequent hospitalization, drugs, outpatient services and emergency department visits of the two groups.

Using two different costing methods, the investigators found that use of enoxaparin reduced the cost of care compared to heparin. In one model the drug cut the cost from $8,167 to $5,800, while the cost in the second model was cut from $10,076 to $7,942. Both groups had similar safety outcomes with no strokes, major bleedings or deaths.

"The major advantage of enoxaparin versus unfractionated heparin seen in the study was shorter length of stay, demonstrating that use of enoxaparin facilitated early hospital discharge and self-administration in an outpatient setting," the authors write.

The study was funded by Sanofi-Aventis.

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