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What Are the Risks of Cardioversion?

Although uncommon, cardioversion does have risks. The procedure can sometimes worsen arrhythmias. Rarely, it can cause life-threatening arrhythmias. These irregular heartbeats are treated with electrical shocks or medicines.

Cardioversion can dislodge blood clots in the heart. These clots can travel to organs and tissues in the body and cause a stroke or other problems. Taking anticlotting medicines before and after cardioversion can reduce this risk.

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Cardioversion Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Cardioversion, visit

May 25, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.