... from the NHLBI on Twitter. What Is Atrial Fibrillation? Atrial fibrillation (A-tre-al fi-bri-LA- ... Works article. Understanding the Electrical Problem in Atrial Fibrillation In AF, the heart's electrical signals don't ...
Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia characterized by no-coordinated atrial contraction that results in an inefficient atrial systole. The clinical classification of atrial fibrillation includes: ocassional, paroxysmal, persistent, and permanent. Multiple mechanisms have been described and accounts for a single ECG manifestation. Treatment should be individualized and has to considered several aspects including age, associated heart disease, and symptoms. Treatment strategies are: rhythm control, rate control, and thromboprophylaxis.
This issue provides a clinical overview of atrial fibrillation, focusing on diagnosis, treatment, and practice improvement. The content of In the Clinic is drawn from the clinical information and education resources of the American College of Physicians (ACP), including MKSAP (Medical Knowledge and Self-Assessment Program). Annals of Internal Medicine editors develop In the Clinic in collaboration with the ACP's Medical Education and Publishing divisions and with the assistance of additional science writers and physician writers.
Munger, Thomas M.; Wu, Li-Qun; Shen, Win K.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia affecting patients today. Disease prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide, and is associated with often catastrophic and costly consequences, including heart failure, syncope, dementia, and stroke. Therapies including anticoagulants, anti-arrhythmic medications, devices, and non-pharmacologic procedures in the last 30 years have improved patients' functionality with the disease. Nonetheless, it remains imperative that further research into AF epidemiology, genetics, detection, and treatments continues to push forward rapidly as the worldwide population ages dramatically over the next 20 years. PMID:24474959
Auricular fibrillation - discharge; A-fib - discharge; AF - discharge; Afib - discharge ... been in the hospital because you have atrial fibrillation . This condition occurs when your heart beats faster ...
ANSWERS by heart Cardiovascular Conditions What Is Atrial Fibrillation? Your heart has a natural pacemaker, called the “ ... if the electric signals are normal. In atrial fibrillation (AFib), the heart’s two small upper chambers (atria) ...
Moukabary, Talal; Gonzalez, Mario D
Atrial fibrillation is a very common clinical problem with a high prevalence that is expected to rise over time because of increasing risk factors (eg, age, obesity, hypertension). This high prevalence is also associated with high cost, because atrial fibrillation represents about 1% of overall health care spending. The management of atrial fibrillation involves multiple facets: (1) management of underlying disease if present and the management of atrial fibrillation risk factors, (2) prevention of thromboembolism, (3) control of the ventricular rate during atrial fibrillation, and (4) restoration and maintenance of normal sinus rhythm.
... from the NHLBI on Twitter. How Is Atrial Fibrillation Treated? Treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF) depends on ... much thyroid hormone). Who Needs Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation? People who have AF but don't have ...
Schneider, J.; Berger, H.J.; Sands, M.J.; Lachman, A.B.; Zaret, B.L.
There is wide beat-to-beat variability in cycle length and left ventricular performance in patients with atrial fibrillation. In this study, left ventricular ejection fraction and relative left ventricular volumes were evaluated on a beat-to-beat basis with the computerized nuclear probe, an instrument with sufficiently high sensitivity to allow continuous evaluation of the radionuclide time-activity curve. Of 18 patients with atrial fibrillation, 5 had mitral stenosis, 6 had mitral regurgitation, and 7 had coronary artery disease. Fifty consecutive beats were analyzed in each patient. The mean left ventricular ejection fraction ranged from 17 to 51%. There was substantial beat-to-beat variation in cycle length and left ventricular ejection fraction in all patients, including those with marked left ventricular dysfunction. In 14 patients who also underwent multiple gated cardiac blood pool imaging, there was an excellent correlation between mean ejection fraction derived from the nuclear probe and gated ejection fraction obtained by gamma camera imaging (r . 0.90). Based on beat-to-beat analysis, left ventricular function was dependent on relative end-diastolic volume and multiple preceding cycle lengths, but not preceding end-systolic volumes. This study demonstrates that a single value for left ventricular ejection fraction does not adequately characterize left ventricular function in patients with atrial fibrillation. Furthermore, both the mean beat-to-beat and the gated ejection fraction may underestimate left ventricular performance at rest in such patients.
... think you are pregnant If you notice red, dark brown or black urine or stools If you ... Fibrillation • Introduction • What is Atrial Fibrillation? • Why AFib Matters • Understand your Risk for AFib Children • Symptoms of ...
Lawrance, Christopher P; Henn, Matthew C; Damiano, Ralph J
Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, and its treatment options include drug therapy or catheter-based or surgical interventions. The surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation has undergone multiple evolutions over the last several decades. The Cox-Maze procedure went on to become the gold standard for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and is currently in its fourth iteration (Cox-Maze IV). This article reviews the indications and preoperative planning for performing a Cox-Maze IV procedure. This article also reviews the literature describing the surgical results for both approaches including comparisons of the Cox-Maze IV to the previous cut-and-sew method.
Lawrance, Christopher P; Henn, Matthew C; Damiano, Ralph J
Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, and its treatment options include drug therapy or catheter-based or surgical interventions. The surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation has undergone multiple evolutions over the last several decades. The Cox-Maze procedure went on to become the gold standard for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and is currently in its fourth iteration (Cox-Maze IV). This article reviews the indications and preoperative planning for performing a Cox-Maze IV procedure. This article also reviews the literature describing the surgical results for both approaches including comparisons of the Cox-Maze IV to the previous cut-and-sew method.
... from the NHLBI on Twitter. How Can Atrial Fibrillation Be Prevented? Following a healthy lifestyle and taking ... for heart disease may help you prevent atrial fibrillation (AF). These steps include: Following a heart healthy ...
... Association Cardiology Patient Page Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation Christian T. Ruff Download PDF https://doi.org/ ... an irregular and fast heartbeat. What Causes Atrial Fibrillation? Several factors and medical conditions make it more ...
Introduction Acute atrial fibrillation is rapid, irregular, and chaotic atrial activity of recent onset. Various definitions of acute atrial fibrillation have been used in the literature, but for the purposes of this review we have included studies where atrial fibrillation may have occurred up to 7 days previously. Risk factors for acute atrial fibrillation include increasing age, cardiovascular disease, alcohol, diabetes, and lung disease. Acute atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke and heart failure. The condition resolves spontaneously within 24 to 48 hours in more than 50% of people; however, many people will require interventions to control heart rate or restore sinus rhythm. Methods and outcomes We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of interventions to prevent embolism, for conversion to sinus rhythm, and to control heart rate in people with recent-onset atrial fibrillation (within 7 days) who are haemodynamically stable? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to April 2014 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Results We found 26 studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. Conclusions In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: amiodarone, antithrombotic treatment before cardioversion, atenolol, bisoprolol, carvedilol, digoxin, diltiazem, direct current cardioversion, flecainide, metoprolol, nebivolol, propafenone, sotalol, timolol, and verapamil. PMID:25430048
Lawrance, Christopher P.; Henn, Matthew C.; Damiano, Ralph J.
Synopsis Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and its treatment options include drug therapy or, catheter-based or surgical interventions. The surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation has undergone multiple evolutions over the last several decades. The Cox-Maze procedure which was developed by James Cox in 1987 is a procedure where multiple surgical incisions are created along the atria to interrupt the electrical pathways thought to allow atrial fibrillation to persist. This procedure went on to become the gold standard for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and is currently in its 4th iteration called the Cox-Maze IV. The Cox-Maze IV replaced the previous “cut-and-sew” method with a combination of cryoablation and bipolar RF ablation. The adaption of ablation technologies allowed the Cox-Maze IV procedure to be performed through a less invasive right minithoracotomy instead of a traditional sternotomy approach. The aim of this article is to review the indications and preoperative planning for performing a Cox-Maze IV procedure. A description of the operative techniques for both a sternotomy and right mini-thoracotomy approach will be discussed in addition to specific postoperative considerations. Finally, this article will review the literature describing the surgical results for both approaches including comparisons of the Cox-Maze IV to the previous “cut-and-sew” method. PMID:25443237
Franken, Roberto A.; Rosa, Ronaldo F.; Santos, Silvio CM
This review discusses atrial fibrillation according to the guidelines of Brazilian Society of Cardiac Arrhythmias and the Brazilian Cardiogeriatrics Guidelines. We stress the thromboembolic burden of atrial fibrillation and discuss how to prevent it as well as the best way to conduct cases of atrial fibrillatios in the elderly, reverting the arrhythmia to sinus rhythm, or the option of heart rate control. The new methods to treat atrial fibrillation, such as radiofrequency ablation, new oral direct thrombin inhibitors and Xa factor inhibitors, as well as new antiarrhythmic drugs, are depicted. PMID:22916053
Arguis, M J; Navarro, R; Regueiro, A; Arbelo, E; Sierra, P; Sabaté, S; Galán, J; Ruiz, A; Matute, P; Roux, C; Gomar, C; Rovira, I; Mont, L; Fita, G
Atrial fibrillation is a frequent complication in the perioperative period. When it appears there is an increased risk of perioperative morbidity due to stroke, thromboembolism, cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, anticoagulation haemorrhage, and hospital readmissions. The current article focuses on the recommendations for the management of perioperative atrial fibrillation based on the latest Clinical Practice Guidelines on atrial fibrillation by the European Society of Cardiology and the Spanish Society of Cardiology. This article pays special attention to the preoperative management, as well as to the acute perioperative episode. For this reason, the latest recommendations for the control of cardiac frequency, antiarrhythmic treatment and anticoagulation are included.
Sullivan, M L; Martinez, C M; Gallagher, E J
A young male bodybuilder, consuming large doses of anabolic steroids (AS), presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with symptomatic rapid atrial fibrillation (AF). Echocardiogram revealed significant septal hypokinesis, and posterior and septal wall thickness at the upper limit of normal for highly trained athletes. The atrial fibrillation had not recurred at 10 weeks after discontinuation of AS use. Consumption of these agents in athletes has been associated with hypertension, ischemic heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and sudden death.
Piccini, Jonathan P; Fauchier, Laurent
Many patients with atrial fibrillation have substantial symptoms despite ventricular rate control and require restoration of sinus rhythm to improve their quality of life. Acute restoration (ie, cardioversion) and maintenance of sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation are referred to as rhythm control. The decision to pursue rhythm control is based on symptoms, the type of atrial fibrillation (paroxysmal, persistent, or long-standing persistent), patient comorbidities, general health status, and anticoagulation status. Many patients have recurrent atrial fibrillation and require further intervention to maintain long term sinus rhythm. Antiarrhythmic drug therapy is generally recommended as a first-line therapy and drug selection is on the basis of the presence or absence of structural heart disease or heart failure, electrocardiographical variables, renal function, and other comorbidities. In patients who continue to have recurrent atrial fibrillation despite medical therapy, catheter ablation has been shown to substantially reduce recurrent atrial fibrillation, decrease symptoms, and improve quality of life, although recurrence is common despite continued advancement in ablation techniques.
Atrial fibrillation in heart failure often occur together. The relationship between atrial fibrillation and heart failure has remained a subject of research. The main manifestation of the violation of hydrodynamics in heart failure is the increased end-diastolic pressure, which is transmitted through the intercommunicated system (left ventricle-left atrium-pulmonary veins-alveolar capillaries) causing increased pulmonary wedge pressure with the danger for pulmonary edema. End-diastolic pressure is the sum of left ventricle diastolic pressure and left atrial systolic pressure. Stopping the mechanical systole of the left atrium can reduce the pressure in the system in heart failure. Atrial fibrillation stops the mechanical systole of the left atrium and decreases the intercommunicating pressure and pulmonary wedge pressure. It is possible that atrial fibrillation is a mechanism for protection from increasing end-diastolic pressure and pulmonary wedge pressure, and prevents the danger of pulmonary edema. This hypothesis may explain the relationship between heart failure and atrial fibrillation and their frequent association.
Castrejón-Castrejón, Sergio; Ortega, Marta; Pérez-Silva, Armando; Doiny, David; Estrada, Alejandro; Filgueiras, David; López-Sendón, José L.; Merino, José L.
The efficacy of catheter-based ablation techniques to treat atrial fibrillation is limited not only by recurrences of this arrhythmia but also, and not less importantly, by new-onset organized atrial tachycardias. The incidence of such tachycardias depends on the type and duration of the baseline atrial fibrillation and specially on the ablation technique which was used during the index procedure. It has been repeatedly reported that the more extensive the left atrial surface ablated, the higher the incidence of organized atrial tachycardias. The exact origin of the pathologic substrate of these trachycardias is not fully understood and may result from the interaction between preexistent regions with abnormal electrical properties and the new ones resultant from radiofrequency delivery. From a clinical point of view these atrial tachycardias tend to remit after a variable time but in some cases are responsible for significant symptoms. A precise knowledge of the most frequent types of these arrhythmias, of their mechanisms and components is necessary for a thorough electrophysiologic characterization if a new ablation procedure is required. PMID:21941669
Dalen, James E; Alpert, Joseph S
A new suspected cause of cryptic strokes is "silent atrial fibrillation." Pacemakers and other implanted devices allow continuous recording of cardiac rhythm for months or years. They have discovered that short periods of atrial fibrillation lasting minutes or hours are frequent and usually are asymptomatic. A meta-analysis of 50 studies involving more than 10,000 patients with a recent stroke found that 7.7% had new atrial fibrillation on their admitting electrocardiogram. In 3 weeks during and after hospitalization, another 16.9% were diagnosed. A total of 23.7% of these stroke patients had silent atrial fibrillation; that is, atrial fibrillation diagnosed after hospital admission. Silent atrial fibrillation is also frequent in patients with pacemakers who do not have a recent stroke. In a pooled analysis of 3 studies involving more than 10,000 patients monitored for 24 months, 43% had at least 1 day with atrial fibrillation lasting more than 5 minutes. Ten percent had atrial fibrillation lasting at least 12 hours. Despite the frequency of silent atrial fibrillation in these patients with multiple risk factors for stroke, the annual incidence of stroke was only 0.23%. When silent atrial fibrillation is detected in patients with recent cryptogenic stroke, anticoagulation is indicated. In patients without stroke, silent atrial fibrillation should lead to further monitoring for clinical atrial fibrillation rather than immediate anticoagulation, as some have advocated.
Lanters, Eva A H; Allessie, Maurits A; DE Groot, Natasja M S
The incidence and appearance of focal fibrillation waves on the right and left atrial epicardial surface were visualized during 10 seconds of persistent atrial fibrillation in a 71-year-old woman with valvular heart disease. The frequent, nonrepetitive, widespread, and capricious distribution of focal waves suggests that transmural conduction of fibrillation waves is most likely the mechanism underlying focal fibrillation waves.
Olazabal Eizaguirre, N; Chavez, R; González-Torres, M A; Gaviria, M
This paper studies the relationship between atrial fibrillation and panic disorder. There are often doubts on the differential diagnosis in emergency services and general medical settings. Panic disorder prevalence rates have been found to be high in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. Various studies have observed that patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders frequently have higher cardiovascular disease rates compared to the general population. Usually, patients suffering from panic disorder exhibit somatic complaints suggesting coronary disease, such as chest pain or palpitations. The aim is to make the correct diagnosis and treatment for these different illnesses, and to decrease the costs due to misdiagnosis.
Syed, Faisal F.; DeSimone, Christopher V.; Friedman, Paul A.; Asirvatham, Samuel J.
SYNOPSIS Percutaneous left atrial appendage (LAA) closure is increasingly being used as a treatment strategy to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who have contraindications to anticoagulants. A number of approaches and devices have been developed in the last few years, each with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. We review the published studies on surgical and percutaneous approaches to LAA closure; focusing on stroke mechanisms in AF, LAA structure and function relevant to stroke prevention, practical differences in procedural approach, and clinical considerations surrounding management. PMID:25443240
Ramlawi, Basel; Abu Saleh, Walid K
The Cox-maze procedure for the restoration of normal sinus rhythm, initially developed by Dr. James Cox, underwent several iterations over the years. The main concept consists of creating a series of transmural lesions in the right and left atria that disrupt re-entrant circuits responsible for propagating the abnormal atrial fibrillation rhythm. The left atrial appendage is excluded as a component of the Maze procedure. For the first three iterations of the Cox- maze procedure, these lesions were performed using a surgical cut-and-sew approach that ensured transmurality. The Cox-Maze IV is the most currently accepted iteration. It achieves the same lesion set of the Cox- maze III but uses alternative energy sources to create the transmural lesions, potentially in a minimally invasive approach on the beating heart. High-frequency ultrasound, microwave, and laser energy have all been used with varying success in the past. Today, bipolar radiofrequency heat or cryotherapy cooling are the most accepted sources for creating linear lesions with consistent safety and transmurality. The robust and reliable nature of these energy delivery methods has yielded a success rate reaching 90% freedom from atrial fibrillation at 12 months. Such approaches offer a significant long-term advantage over catheter-based ablation, especially in patients having longstanding, persistent atrial fibrillation with characteristics such as dilated left atrial dimensions, poor ejection fraction, and failed catheter ablation. Based on these improved results, there currently is significant interest in developing a hybrid ablation strategy that incorporates the superior transmural robust lesions of surgical ablation, the reliable stroke prevention potential of epicardial left atrial appendage exclusion, and sophisticated mapping and confirmatory catheter-based ablation technology. Such a minimally invasive hybrid strategy for ablation may lead to the development of multidisciplinary "Afib teams" to
Duron, Emmanuelle; Hanon, Olivier
Atrial fibrillation (AF), which prevalence increases with age, is a growing public health problem and a well known risk factor for stroke. On the other hand, dementia is one of the most important neurological disorders in the elderly, and with aging of the population in developed countries, the number of demented patients will increase in absence of prevention. In the past decade, several vascular risk factors (hypertension, obesity and metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolemia) have been found, with various degree of evidence, to be associated with vascular dementia but also, surprisingly, with Alzheimer's disease. This review is devoted to the links between atrial fibrillation, cognitive decline and dementia. Globally, transversal studies showed a significant association between atrial fibrillation, cognitive decline and dementia. However, these studies are particularly sensitive to various biases. In this context, recent longitudinal studies of higher level of evidence have been conducted to assess the link between AF and dementia. One study disclosed a high incidence of dementia among patients suffering from atrial fibrillation during a 4.6 years follow-up. Similarly another study showed that atrial fibrillation was significantly associated with conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia during a 3 years follow-up. Nevertheless two other longitudinal studies did not find any significant association between AF and dementia, but this discrepancy should be interpreted taking into account that the comparability of all these studies is moderate because they were using different methodologies (population, cognitive testing, and mean follow-up). Possible explanatory mechanisms for the association between AF and the risk of dementia are proposed, such as thrombo-embolic ischemic damage and cerebral hypo perfusion due to fluctuations in the cardiac output. Thus, there is some evidence that FA could be associated with cognitive decline and dementia but this
... What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation? Atrial fibrillation (AF) usually causes the heart's lower ... pain Dizziness or fainting Fatigue (tiredness) Confusion Atrial Fibrillation Complications AF has two major complications— stroke and ...
Lairikyengbam, S; Anderson, M; Davies, A
Atrial fibrillation is the commonest sustained cardiac arrhythmia. It accounts for >35% of all hospital admissions for cardiac arrhythmias in the United States. The presence of atrial fibrillation increases the mortality of a population by up to twofold. The risk of stroke increases from 1.5% in patients with atrial fibrillation from 50–59 years of age to up to 23.5% for such patients aged 80–89 years. Although the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is usually straightforward, effective treatment is not. This article will discuss how rhythm control of atrial fibrillation can best be achieved, the controversy over the rhythm versus rate control, the maintenance of sinus rhythm with antiarrhythmic drugs after cardioversion, and prevention of thromboembolism. Finally, the recent advances in various non-pharmacological approaches for the treatment of atrial fibrillation will be highlighted. PMID:12612318
Jawad-Ul-Qamar, Muhammad; Kirchhof, Paulus
Atrial fibrillation continues to attract interest in the cardiovascular community and in Heart. Over 60 original research and review papers published in Heart in 2014–2015 cover various aspects of atrial fibrillation, from associated conditions and precipitating factors to new approaches to management. Here, we provide an overview of articles on atrial fibrillation published in Heart in 2014–2015, highlighting new developments, emerging concepts and novel approaches to treatment. PMID:26791994
There is a growing population of veteran endurance athletes, regularly participating in training and competition. Although the graded benefit of exercise on cardiovascular health and mortality is well established, recent studies have raised concern that prolonged and strenuous endurance exercise may predispose to atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. Atrial fibrillation (AF) and atrial flutter are facilitated by atrial remodelling, atrial ectopy, and an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system. Endurance sports practice has an impact on all of these factors and may therefore act as a promoter of these arrhythmias. In an animal model, long-term intensive exercise training induced fibrosis in both atria and increased susceptibility to AF. While the prevalence of AF is low in young competitive athletes, it increases substantially in the aging athlete, which is possibly associated with an accumulation of lifetime training hours and participation in competitions. A recent meta-analysis revealed a 5-fold increased risk of AF in middle-aged endurance athletes with a striking male predominance. Beside physical activity, height and absolute left atrial size are independent risk factors for lone AF and the stature of men per se may explain part of their higher risk of AF. Furthermore, for a comparable amount of training volume and performance, male non-elite athletes exhibit a higher blood pressure at rest and peak exercise, a more concentric type of left ventricular remodelling, and an altered diastolic function, possibly contributing to a more pronounced atrial remodelling. The sports cardiologist should be aware of the distinctive features of AF in athletes. Therapeutic recommendations should be given in close cooperation with an electrophysiologist. Reduction of training volume is often not desired and drug therapy not well tolerated. An early ablation strategy may be appropriate for some athletes with an impaired physical performance, especially when continuation of
... at Risk for Atrial Fibrillation? Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects millions of people, and the number is rising. Men are more ... conditions. It may act as a trigger in people who have other AF risk factors. Genetic factors also may play a role in causing AF. However, their role ... SITE INDEX ACCESSIBILITY PRIVACY STATEMENT FOIA OIG CONTACT ...
Dilber, Dario; Čerkez-Habek, Jasna; Barić, Hrvoje; Gradišer, Marina
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and it is an independent risk for serious events. Acupuncture has been growing in popularity in the West, and there are reports of its benefits in treating AF. We report a 57-year-old man who was admitted after having an allergic reaction to amiodarone administered to treat paroxysmal AF with fast ventricular response. Cardioversion with intravenous propafenone was uneventful. Before an attempt of electric cardioversion, he was treated with acupuncture as additional therapy to peroral propafenone. After acupuncture treatment consisting of 10 treatments during 30 days period, both immediate cardioversion to sinus rhythm and no paroxysmal AF during 30 days period were recorded. PMID:26593171
Alexa, Ioana Dana; Bucur, Ionela Mirela; Rusu, R I; Ungureanu, G
Atrial fibrillation (AF), a common and serious cardiac rhythm disturbance, is responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in the population. Currently about 2.3 million people in the US are diagnosed with AF and, based of the US census, this number is expected to rise to 5.6 million by 2050. It doubles in prevalence with each decade of age, reaching almost 9% at age 80-89 years. It has increased in prevalence over the calendar decades, reaching 'epidemic' proportions. The risk of stroke increases from 1.5% in patients with atrial fibrillation from 50-59 years of age to up to 23.5% for such patients aged 80-89 years. Although the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is usually straightforward, effective treatment is not. We aimed to discuss how rhythm control of atrial fibrillation can best be achieved in elderly patients, the controversy over the rhythm versus rate control, and prevention of thromboembolism.
Lipsett, Mark; Hamilton, Douglas; Lemery, Jay; Polk, James
This slide presentation reviews a possible scenario of an astronaut having Atrial Fibrillation during a Mars Mission. In the case review the presentation asks several questions about the alternatives for treatment, medications and the ramifications of the decisions.
Antz, Matthias; Hullmann, Bettina; Neufert, Christian; Vocke, Wolfgang
The correct anticoagulation regimen for prevention of thromboembolic events is essential in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, only a minority of patients receives anticoagulation according to the guidelines. The current guidelines are intended to make the indication for anticoagulation more simple and are summarized in the present article. This includes recommendations for chronic anticoagulation, prevention of thromboembolic events after cardioversion and in ablation of atrial fibrillation.
Staffurth, J S; Gibberd, M C; Fui, S N
In 262 patients with thyrotoxicosis and atrial fibrillation there were 26 episodes of arterial embolism (17 cerebral and nine elsewhere) in 21 patients. Twelve incidents occurred with active thyrotoxicosis, three on reversion to sinus rhythm, and 11 after the patients were euthyroid. This important complication is more common than is realised, and most patients should be put on prophylactic anticoagulants when first seen with atrial fibrillation. PMID:902055
Le Heuzey, J Y
The incidence and prevalence of atrial fibrillation are quickly increasing, mainly due to the ageing of the population. Atrial fibrillation is, to date, a problem of public health. Atrial fibrillation is associated to a five-fold risk of stroke, which may be identified by score risks, such as CHADS(2) score. The classical antithrombotic treatment of atrial fibrillation is based on vitamin K antagonists. Trials made in the 90's have clearly shown that vitamin K antagonists were able to decrease stroke risk by about 60%. New oral anticoagulants are now available on the market to treat patients with atrial fibrillation. These drugs are dabigatran which has demonstrated an interest in the RE-LY trial. Two doses may be prescribed, 110 mg bid and 150 mg bid. Anti Xa have also demonstrated an interest : rivaroxaban in the ROCKET AF trial and apixaban in the AVERROES (versus aspirin) and ARISTOTLE trials. In the future these drugs will have a major place in the armamentarium used to treat patients with atrial fibrillation. In all these trials a decrease in intra cranial haemorrhages has been demonstrated. In the everyday practice it will be necessary to be very cautious in patients with impaired renal function, as all these drugs are eliminated by kidneys.
Batal, Omar; Schoenhagen, Paul; Shao, Mingyuan; Ayyad, Ala Eddin; Van Wagoner, David R.; Halliburton, Sandra S.; Tchou, Patrick J.; Chung, Mina K.
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) has been linked to inflammatory factors and obesity. Epicardial fat is a source of several inflammatory mediators related to the development of coronary artery disease. We hypothesized that periatrial fat may have a similar role in the development of AF. Methods and Results Left atrium (LA) epicardial fat pad thickness was measured in consecutive cardiac CT angiograms performed for coronary artery disease or AF. Patients were grouped by AF burden: no (n=73), paroxysmal (n=60), or persistent (n=36) AF. In a short-axis view at the mid LA, periatrial epicardial fat thickness was measured at the esophagus (LA-ESO), main pulmonary artery, and thoracic aorta; retrosternal fat was measured in axial view (right coronary ostium level). LA area was determined in the 4-chamber view. LA-ESO fat was thicker in patients with persistent AF versus paroxysmal AF (P=0.011) or no AF (P=0.003). LA area was larger in patients with persistent AF than paroxysmal AF (P=0.004) or without AF (P<0.001). LA-ESO was a significant predictor of AF burden even after adjusting for age, body mass index, and LA area (odds ratio, 5.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.39 to 20.24; P=0.015). A propensity score–adjusted multivariable logistic regression that included age, body mass index, LA area, and comorbidities was also performed and the relationship remained statistically significant (P=0.008). Conclusions Increased posterior LA fat thickness appears to be associated with AF burden independent of age, body mass index, or LA area. Further studies are necessary to examine cause and effect, and if inflammatory, paracrine mediators explain this association. PMID:20504944
Nuryani, N.; Solikhah, M.; Nugoho, A. S.; Afdala, A.; Anzihory, E.
Atrial fibrillation is a serious heart problem originated from the upper chamber of the heart. The common indication of atrial fibrillation is irregularity of R peak-to-R-peak time interval, which is shortly called RR interval. The irregularity could be represented using variance or spread of RR interval. This article presents a system to detect atrial fibrillation using variances. Using clinical data of patients with atrial fibrillation attack, it is shown that the variance of electrocardiographic RR interval are higher during atrial fibrillation, compared to the normal one. Utilizing a simple detection technique and variances of RR intervals, we find a good performance of atrial fibrillation detection.
Yamase, Yuichiro; Kato, Kimihiko; Horibe, Hideki; Ueyama, Chikara; Fujimaki, Tetsuo; Oguri, Mitsutoshi; Arai, Masazumi; Watanabe, Sachiro; Murohara, Toyoaki; Yamada, Yoshiji
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) identified various genes and loci that confer susceptibility to coronary artery disease or myocardial infarction among Caucasian populations. As myocardial ischemia is an important risk factor for atrial fibrillation, we hypothesized that certain polymorphisms may contribute to the genetic susceptibility to atrial fibrillation through affecting the susceptibility to coronary artery disease. The aim of the present study was to examine the possible association of atrial fibrillation in Japanese individuals with 29 polymorphisms identified as susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease or myocardial infarction in the meta-analyses of GWASs in Caucasian populations. The study subjects comprised 5,470 Japanese individuals (305 subjects with atrial fibrillation and 5,165 controls). Genotypes for 29 polymorphisms were determined by a method that combines the polymerase chain reaction and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes with suspension array technology. Comparisons of the allele frequencies by the χ(2) test revealed that rs599839 (G→A) of the proline/serine-rich coiled-coil 1 gene (PSRC1, P=0.0084) and rs11556924 (C→T, Arg363His) of the zinc finger, C3HC-type containing 1 gene (ZC3HC1, P=0.0076) were significantly (P<0.01) associated with atrial fibrillation. Multivariable logistic regression analysis with adjustment for age, gender, body mass index, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and the prevalence of smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia revealed that rs599839 (P=0.0043; odds ratio, 1.56; dominant model) and rs11556924 (P=0.0043; odds ratio, 1.93; dominant model) were significantly associated with atrial fibrillation, with the minor G and T alleles, respectively, representing risk factors for this condition. PSRC1 and ZC3HC1 may thus be susceptibility loci for atrial fibrillation in Japanese individuals.
McDivitt, Johnathan D; Barstow, Craig
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia. The prevalence increases with age, especially in the seventh and eighth decades of life. AF also is associated with multiple risk factors and conditions that are managed commonly in family medicine settings, such as hypertension and diabetes. Rhythm control and rate control are primarily equivalent for mortality rate, but patients treated for rhythm control have more hospitalizations; however, rhythm control may be a viable option for select patients. Beta blockers and nondihydropyridine calcium channel blockers can be used to achieve rate control. Pharmacotherapy or electrical cardioversion can be used to achieve rhythm control, and antiarrhythmic drugs are used to maintain sinus rhythm. Catheter ablation is an option for symptomatic patients whose AF is refractory to standard treatment. The CHA2DS2-VASc score should be used to predict the risk of stroke for patients with AF. Patients with nonvalvular AF and a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack or CHA2DS2-VASc scores of 2 or greater should be treated with warfarin or novel oral anticoagulants. Patients with valvular AF should be treated with warfarin.
Leier, C V; Johnson, T M; Lewis, R P
A patient with coarse atrial fibrillation and a rapid ventricular response developed periods of high grade atrioventricular block interpersed with periods of rapid ventricular conduction after the administration of digitalis and propranolol. Intracardiac atrial recordings showed similar atrial rhythms of high right atrial flutter and left atrial fibrillation. The low right atrial recordings showed flutter during the periods of fast ventricular rates and fibrillation during periods of slower ventricular rates. Images PMID:475927
The author reviews the history of atrial fibrillation, the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia. The chaotic irregularity of arterial pulse was clearly acknowledged by most of physicians of the ancient China, Egypt and Greece. William Harvey (1578-1657), who first described the circulatory system appropriately, was probably the first to describe fibrillation of the auricles in animals in 1628. The French "clinical pathologist", Jean Baptist de Sénac (1693-1770) was the first who assumed a correlation between "rebellious palpitation" and stenosis of the mitral valve. Robert Adams (1791-1875) also reported in 1827 the association of irregular pulses and mitral stenosis. The discovery of digitalis leaf in 1785 by William Withering (1741-1799) brought relief to patients with atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure by reducing the ventricular rate. From an analysis of simultaneously recorded arterial and venous pressure curves, the Scottish Sir James Mackenzie (1853-11925) demonstrated that a presystolic wave cannot be seen during "pulsus irregularis perpetuus", a term very first used by Heinrich Ewald Hering (1866-1948). Arthur Cushny (1866-1926) noted the similarity between pulse curves in clinical "delirium cordis" and those in dogs with atrial fibrillation. The first human ECG depicting atrial fibrillation was published by Willem Einthoven (1860-1927) in 1906. The proof of a direct connection between absolute arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation was established by two Viennese physicians, Carl Julius Rothberger and Heinrich Winterberg in 1909. Sir Thomas Lewis (1881-1945), the father of modem electrocardiography, studied electrophysiological characteristics of atrial fibrillation and has shown that its basic perpetuating mechanism is circus movement of electrical impulse (re-entry). After him, the major discoveries relating to the pathophysiology and clinical features of atrial fibrillation in the 20th century stemmed from Karel Frederick Wenckebach
Bonilla, Ingrid M.; Sridhar, Arun; Györke, Sandor; Cardounel, Arturo J.; Carnes, Cynthia A.
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. There are multiple systems in the myocardium which contribute to redox homeostasis, and loss of homeostasis can result in oxidative stress. Potential sources of oxidants include nitric oxide synthases (NOS), which normally produce nitric oxide in the heart. Two NOS isoforms (1 and 3) are normally expressed in the heart. During pathologies such as heart failure, there is induction of NOS 2 in multiple cell types in the myocardium. In certain conditions, the NOS enzymes may become uncoupled, shifting from production of nitric oxide to superoxide anion, a potent free radical and oxidant. Multiple lines of evidence suggest a role for NOS in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. Therapeutic approaches to reduce atrial fibrillation by modulation of NOS activity may be beneficial, although further investigation of this strategy is needed. PMID:22536189
Curtis, Anne B
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common and complex cardiac arrhythmias. Using currently available evidence, leading medical societies have established recommendations for the optimal management of atrial fibrillation. These guidelines have recently been updated by 4 consensus groups: the European Society of Cardiology, the American College of Chest Physicians, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and a task force of 3 societies from the United States: the American College of Cardiology Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the Heart Rhythm Society. The present review focused on the similarities and differences among these recently updated guidelines. Key revisions included updated information on newer treatments for rhythm control, treatment options to reduce atrial fibrillation complications, and updated anticoagulant management for thromboprophylaxis.
You, John J.; Singer, Daniel E.; Howard, Patricia A.; Lane, Deirdre A.; Eckman, Mark H.; Fang, Margaret C.; Hylek, Elaine M.; Schulman, Sam; Go, Alan S.; Hughes, Michael; Spencer, Frederick A.; Manning, Warren J.; Halperin, Jonathan L.
Background: The risk of stroke varies considerably across different groups of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Antithrombotic prophylaxis for stroke is associated with an increased risk of bleeding. We provide recommendations for antithrombotic treatment based on net clinical benefit for patients with AF at varying levels of stroke risk and in a number of common clinical scenarios. Methods: We used the methods described in the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines article of this supplement. Results: For patients with nonrheumatic AF, including those with paroxysmal AF, who are (1) at low risk of stroke (eg, CHADS2 [congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, diabetes mellitus, prior stroke or transient ischemic attack] score of 0), we suggest no therapy rather than antithrombotic therapy, and for patients choosing antithrombotic therapy, we suggest aspirin rather than oral anticoagulation or combination therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel; (2) at intermediate risk of stroke (eg, CHADS2 score of 1), we recommend oral anticoagulation rather than no therapy, and we suggest oral anticoagulation rather than aspirin or combination therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel; and (3) at high risk of stroke (eg, CHADS2 score of ≥ 2), we recommend oral anticoagulation rather than no therapy, aspirin, or combination therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel. Where we recommend or suggest in favor of oral anticoagulation, we suggest dabigatran 150 mg bid rather than adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist therapy. Conclusions: Oral anticoagulation is the optimal choice of antithrombotic therapy for patients with AF at high risk of stroke (CHADS2 score of ≥ 2). At lower levels of stroke risk, antithrombotic treatment decisions will require a more individualized
Mikulecky, M; Valachova, A
The most popular periodicities in biology and medicine-the circadians and circannuals-stem undoubtedly from the Earth's rotation and its revolution around the sun. The problem is how to explain the existence of circaseptan, i.e. 5-9-day, and other infradian rhythms. They may correspond to the lunar cycles and their 2nd to 6th harmonics. To test such hypothesis, the calendar dates of 127 attacks of atrial fibrillation in one male subject (M.M.) between 1980 and 1994 were transformed into the days numbered 0-29 for the synodic, and 0-26 for tropic lunar cycle. The daily frequencies obtained in this way were smoothed by moving averages of three successive days each. Considerable fluctuations of frequencies of attacks during both cycles were visible by inspection of the corresponding graphs, called lunar plexograms. Thus, a conspicuous nadir is found under the full moon in the synodic cycle, and a marked peak shortly after the extreme southern position of the moon in the tropic cycle. Halberg's cosinor analysis testing the presence of the 1st to 6th harmonic of either lunar cycle rejected the null hypothesis at the alpha = 0.05 level for all harmonics. Accordingly, the occurrence of attacks was cycling with the period lengths of synodic and tropic lunar cycles, and with those of their 1/2-1/6 period lengths, i.e. with a cluster of approximately circa(di)-septan rhythms. This conclusion is supported by similar findings obtained earlier for various medical and biological events.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects millions worldwide. Stroke is the most devastating complication of AF and is associated with a huge disease burden. As a preventive measure, anticoagulant therapy is recommended for most AF patients based on presence of stroke risk factors. For the past six decades warfarin remained the gold standard for stroke prevention in AF (SPAF). However, it is associated with numerous limitations such as a high risk of drug-drug, drug-food interactions and need for frequent INR (2-3) monitoring. Novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) dabigatran etexilate is a selective, specific, reversible direct thrombin inhibitor that has been approved in India for SPAF and primary venous thromboembolism prevention. The efficacy and safety of dabigatran in AF has been established the "Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulant Therapy (RE-LY)", a randomized clinical trial. RE-LY (n = 18,113) demonstrated that the efficacy of dabigatran 110 mg BID was as good as well controlled warfarin and dabigatran 150 mg BID reduced the risk of ischaemic stroke by 25% (P = 0.03). Till date, 150mg dabigatran is the only NOAC offering a superior reduction in most commonly seen ischemic strokes due to AF compared to warfarin. Additionally, both doses of dabigatran significantly reduced the risk of total bleeds, intracranial, and life threatening bleeds versus warfarin (p < 0.05). Dabigatran has advantages over warfarin including predictable pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile, minimal drug-drug and no drug-food interactions while no monitoring is needed.The 150 mg dose of dabigatran should be considered in younger patients with a low risk of bleeding and good renal function to achieve a superior ischemic stroke reduction, whereas, the 110 mg dose should be considered in elderly patients, those with mild to moderate renal function or those with high risk of bleeding.
Kazui, Toshinobu; Henn, Mathew C.; Watanabe, Yoshiyuki; Kovács, Sándor J.; Lawrance, Christopher P.; Greenberg, Jason W.; Moon, Marc; Schuessler, Richard B.; Damiano, Ralph J.
Objective The impact of prolonged episodes of atrial fibrillation on atrial and ventricular function has been incompletely characterized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of atrial fibrillation on left atrial and ventricular function in a rapid paced porcine model of atrial fibrillation. Methods A control group of pigs (group 1, n = 8) underwent left atrial and left ventricular conductance catheter studies and fibrosis analysis. A second group (group 2, n = 8) received a baseline cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to characterize left atrial and left ventricular function. The atria were rapidly paced into atrial fibrillation for 6 weeks followed by cardioversion and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Results After 6 weeks of atrial fibrillation, left atrial contractility defined by atrial end-systolic pressure-volume relationship slope was significantly lower in group 2 than in group 1 (1.1 ± 0.5 vs 1.7 ± 1.0; P = .041), whereas compliance from the end-diastolic pressure-volume relationship was unchanged (1.5 ± 0.9 vs 1.6 ± 1.3; P = .733). Compared with baseline, atrial fibrillation resulted in a significantly higher contribution of left atrial reservoir volume to stroke volume (32% vs 17%; P = .005) and lower left atrial booster pump volume contribution to stroke volume (19% vs 28%; P = .029). Atrial fibrillation also significantly increased maximum left atrial volume (206 ± 41 mL vs 90 ± 21 mL; P < .001). Left atrial fibrosis in group 2 was significantly higher than in group 1. Atrial fibrillation decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (29% ± 9% vs 58 ± 8%; P < .001), but left ventricular stroke volume was unchanged. Conclusions In a chronic model of atrial fibrillation, the left atrium demonstrated significant structural remodeling and decreased contractility. These data suggest that early intervention in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation might mitigate against adverse atrial and ventricular structural
Jaakkola, Jussi; Mustonen, Pirjo; Kiviniemi, Tuomas; Hartikainen, Juha E. K.; Palomäki, Antti; Hartikainen, Päivi; Nuotio, Ilpo; Ylitalo, Antti; Airaksinen, K. E. Juhani
Atrial fibrillation may remain undiagnosed until an ischemic stroke occurs. In this retrospective cohort study we assessed the prevalence of ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack as the first manifestation of atrial fibrillation in 3,623 patients treated for their first ever stroke or transient ischemic attack during 2003–2012. Two groups were formed: patients with a history of atrial fibrillation and patients with new atrial fibrillation diagnosed during hospitalization for stroke or transient ischemic attack. A control group of 781 patients with intracranial hemorrhage was compiled similarly to explore causality between new atrial fibrillation and stroke. The median age of the patients was 78.3 [13.0] years and 2,009 (55.5%) were women. New atrial fibrillation was diagnosed in 753 (20.8%) patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack, compared to 15 (1.9%) with intracranial hemorrhage. Younger age and no history of coronary artery disease or other vascular diseases, heart failure, or hypertension were the independent predictors of new atrial fibrillation detected concomitantly with an ischemic event. Thus, ischemic stroke was the first clinical manifestation of atrial fibrillation in 37% of younger (<75 years) patients with no history of cardiovascular diseases. In conclusion, atrial fibrillation is too often diagnosed only after an ischemic stroke has occurred, especially in middle-aged healthy individuals. New atrial fibrillation seems to be predominantly the cause of the ischemic stroke and not triggered by the acute cerebrovascular event. PMID:27936187
Schotten, Ulrich; de Haan, Sunniva; Neuberger, Hans-Ruprecht; Eijsbouts, Sabine; Blaauw, Yuri; Tieleman, Robert; Allessie, Maurits
Atrial fibrillation (AF) induces a progressive dilatation of the atria which in turn might promote the arrhythmia. The mechanism of atrial dilatation during AF is not known. To test the hypothesis that loss of atrial contractile function is a primary cause of atrial dilatation during the first days of AF, eight goats were chronically instrumented with epicardial electrodes, a pressure transducer in the right atrium, and piezoelectric crystals to measure right atrial diameter. AF was induced with the use of repetitive burst pacing. Atrial contractility was assessed during sinus rhythm, atrial pacing (160-, 300-, and 400-ms cycle length), and electrically induced AF. The compliance of the fibrillating right atrium was measured during unloading the atria with diuretics and loading with 1 liter of saline. All measurements were repeated after 6, 12, and 24 h of AF and then once a day during the first 5 days of AF. Recovery of the observed changes after spontaneous cardioversion was also studied. After 5 days of AF, atrial contractility during sinus rhythm or slow atrial pacing was greatly reduced. During rapid pacing (160 ms) or AF, the amplitude of the atrial pressure waves had declined to 20% of control. The compliance of the fibrillating atria increased twofold, whereas the right atrial pressure was unchanged. As a result, the mean right atrial diameter increased by approximately 12%. All changes were reversible within 3 days of sinus rhythm. We conclude that atrial dilatation during the first days of AF is due to an increase in atrial compliance caused by loss of atrial contractility during AF. Atrial compliance and size are restored when atrial contractility recovers after cardioversion of AF.
Ferreira, Raquel; Primo, João; Adão, Luís; Gonzaga, Anabela; Gonçalves, Helena; Santos, Rui; Fonseca, Paulo; Santos, José; Gama, Vasco
Cardiac surgery for structural heart disease (often involving the left atrium) and radiofrequency catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation have led to an increased incidence of regular atrial tachycardias, often presenting as atypical flutters. This type of flutter is particularly common after pulmonary vein isolation, especially after extensive atrial ablation including linear lesions and/or defragmentation. The authors describe the case of a 51-year-old man, with no relevant medical history, referred for a cardiology consultation in 2009 for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. After failure of antiarrhythmic therapy, he underwent catheter ablation, with criteria of acute success. Three years later he again suffered palpitations and atypical atrial flutter was documented. The electrophysiology study confirmed the diagnosis of atypical left flutter and reappearance of electrical activity in the right inferior pulmonary vein. This vein was again ablated successfully and there has been no arrhythmia recurrence to date. In an era of frequent catheter ablation it is essential to understand the mechanism of this arrhythmia and to recognize such atypical flutters.
Czick, Maureen E.; Shapter, Christine L.; Silverman, David I.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent arrhythmia in the world, due both to its tenacious treatment resistance, and to the tremendous number of risk factors that set the stage for the atria to fibrillate. Cardiopulmonary, behavioral, and psychological risk factors generate electrical and structural alterations of the atria that promote reentry and wavebreak. These culminate in fibrillation once atrial ectopic beats set the arrhythmia process in motion. There is growing evidence that chronic stress can physically alter the emotion centers of the limbic system, changing their input to the hypothalamic-limbic-autonomic network that regulates autonomic outflow. This leads to imbalance of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, most often in favor of sympathetic overactivation. Autonomic imbalance acts as a driving force behind the atrial ectopy and reentry that promote AF. Careful study of AF pathophysiology can illuminate the means that enable AF to elude both pharmacological control and surgical cure, by revealing ways in which antiarrhythmic drugs and surgical and ablation procedures may paradoxically promote fibrillation. Understanding AF pathophysiology can also help clarify the mechanisms by which emerging modalities aiming to correct autonomic imbalance, such as renal sympathetic denervation, may offer potential to better control this arrhythmia. Finally, growing evidence supports lifestyle modification approaches as adjuncts to improve AF control. PMID:27699086
Ramos-González-Serna, Amelia; Mateos-García, M Dolores
Ablation of pulmonary veins for treatment of atrial fibrillation involves applying radiofrequency energy wave by a catheter that causes a circumferential lesion to achieve electrical isolation and voltage drop in the interior. It is mainly applied when there is resistance to treatment and recurrence of symptoms affecting the quality of life of patients. The nurse is an important part of the multidisciplinary team who care for patients who undergo this procedure. The provision of comprehensive nursing care should include nursing procedures prior to, during, and after treatment to ensure the careful and systematic quality required. The aims of this article are: to provide specialised knowledge on the procedure of atrial fibrillation ablation, to describe the preparation of the electrophysiology laboratory, analyse nursing care and develop a standardized care plan for patients on whom this procedure is performed using the NANDA (North American Nursing Association) taxonomy and NIC (Nursing Intervention Classification).
Hernández Olmedo, Miguel; Suárez Fernández, Carmen
Atrial fibrillation is currently a very prevalent disease and it represents one of the most common causes of disabling stroke. Antithrombotic therapies have reduced the incidence of this complication although they pose many limitations and difficulties. As a result, a large number of high risk patients do not receive an appropriate treatment. In recent years, four new oral anticoagulants (NOAC) with relevant advantages in comparison to vitaminK antagonists have been released. Four large phaseiii clinical trials have demonstrated that NOAC are at least as safe and efficacious as warfarin in stroke prevention in non-valve atrial fibrillation patients with moderate-high thrombotic risk, being their main advantage the reduction in intracranial hemorrhage. The arrival of these drugs has caused great expectations in the management of these patients but also new doubts. Lacking data in some subgroups of frail patients, the absence of specific antidotes available and specially their high cost represent nowadays the main limitations for their generalization.
Sukhacheva, T V; Eremeeva, M V; Ibragimova, A G; Vaskovskii, V A; Serov, R A; Revishvili, A Sh
The myocardium of the right and left atrial appendages (auricles) in patients with paroxysmal, persistent, and permanent forms of atrial fibrillation was examined by histological methods and electron microscopy. Isolated atrial amyloidosis was detected in the left (50.0-56.3% patients) and in the right (45.0-55.6% patients) atrial appendages. In all cases, immunohistochemistry revealed atrial natriuretic peptide in fibrillary amyloid deposits. Ultrastructurally, amyloid masses formed clusters of myofibrils 8-10 nm in diameter. They were chaotically located in the extracellular space along the sarcolemma as well as in membrane invaginations, dilated tubules of cardiomyocyte T-tubular system, and vascular walls. Amyloidosis was predominantly observed in women; its degree positively correlated with age of patients and duration of atrial fibrillation but negatively correlated with atrial fibrosis. The study revealed positive (in permanent atrial fibrillation) and negative (in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation) correlation of amyloidosis with myofibril content in atrial cardiomyocytes.
Bulava, Alan; Mokracek, Ales; Hanis, Jiri; Kurfirst, Vojtech; Eisenberger, Martin; Pesl, Ladislav
Background Catheter ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation yields an unsatisfactorily high number of failures. The hybrid approach has recently emerged as a technique that overcomes the limitations of both surgical and catheter procedures alone. Methods and Results We investigated the sequential (staged) hybrid method, which consists of a surgical thoracoscopic radiofrequency ablation procedure followed by radiofrequency catheter ablation 6 to 8 weeks later using the CARTO 3 mapping system. Fifty consecutive patients (mean age 62±7 years, 32 males) with long‐standing persistent atrial fibrillation (41±34 months) and a dilated left atrium (>45 mm) were included and prospectively followed in an unblinded registry. During the electrophysiological part of the study, all 4 pulmonary veins were found to be isolated in 36 (72%) patients and a complete box‐lesion was confirmed in 14 (28%) patients. All gaps were successfully re‐ablated. Twelve months after the completed hybrid ablation, 47 patients (94%) were in normal sinus rhythm (4 patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation required propafenone and 1 patient underwent a redo catheter procedure). The majority of arrhythmias recurred during the first 3 months. Beyond 12 months, there were no arrhythmia recurrences detected. The surgical part of the procedure was complicated by 7 (13.7%) major complications, while no serious adverse events were recorded during the radiofrequency catheter part of the procedure. Conclusions The staged hybrid epicardial–endocardial treatment of long‐standing persistent atrial fibrillation seems to be extremely effective in maintenance of normal sinus rhythm compared to radiofrequency catheter or surgical ablation alone. Epicardial ablation alone cannot guarantee durable transmural lesions. Clinical Trial Registration URL: www.ablace.cz Unique identifier: cz‐060520121617 PMID:25809548
Lipset, Mark A.; Lemery, Jay; Polk, J. D.; Hamilton, Douglas R.
Background: A long-duration exploration class mission is fraught with numerous medical contingency plans. Herein, we explore the challenges of symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) occurring during an exploration class mission. The actions and resources required to ameliorate the situation, including the availability of appropriate pharmaceuticals, monitoring devices, treatment modalities, and communication protocols will be investigated. Challenges of Atrial Fibrillation during an Exploration Mission: Numerous etiologies are responsible for the initiation of AF. On Earth, we have the time and medical resources to evaluate and determine the causative situation for most cases of AF and initiate therapy accordingly. During a long-duration exploration class mission resources will be severely restricted. How is one to determine if new onset AF is due to recent myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, fluid overload, thyrotoxicosis, cardiac structural abnormalities, or CO poisoning? Which pharmaceutical therapy should be initiated and what potential side effects can be expected? Should anti-coagulation therapy be initiated? How would one monitor the therapeutic treatment of AF in microgravity? What training would medical officers require, and which communication strategies should be developed to enable the best, safest therapeutic options for treatment of AF during a long-duration exploration class mission? Summary: These questions will be investigated with expert opinion on disease elucidation, efficient pharmacology, therapeutic monitoring, telecommunication strategies, and mission cost parameters with emphasis on atrial fibrillation being just one illustration of the tremendous challenges that face a long-duration exploration mission. The limited crew training time, medical hardware, and drugs manifested to deal with such an event predicate that aggressive primary and secondary prevention strategies be developed to protect a multibillion-dollar asset like the
Saleem, TS Mohamed; Bharani, K; Chetty, C Madhusudhana; Gauthaman, K
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of tachyarrhythmia caused by multiple re-entrant wave forms within the atria and bombarding the atrioventricular node several times making it beat in a rapid, disorganized fashion termed “fibrillation”. In atrial fibrillation, atria beat more than 300 times per minute. The arrhythmatous condition needs to be controlled, as humans cannot withstand this rapid and chaotic beating of the heart. New investigational drugs like Dronedarone® are being used. Dronedarone is the most recent antiarrhythmic drugs. It was approved by US-FDA on July 2nd 2009 and is available in the USA as Multaq tablets (400 mg). Dronedarone falls under the category of multiple ion channel blocker. It mainly targets the repolarization currents, making them less active and hence prolonging the action potential duration (APD). Dronedarone also exhibits antiadrenergic activity, thus reducing the pace of the pacemaker. Dronedarone has been proven to be a safer and efficacious AAD, evidenced by both animal and human studies. These studies showed that there was prolongation of the APD and absence of QT interval prolongation with long term administration of the drug. Also there was reduced thyroid hormone receptor expression. Dronedarone is significantly safer and effective in maintaining the sinus rhythm and reducing the ventricular proarrhythmias, justifying it for the long term treatment of atrial fibrillation compared to other antiarrhythmic drugs. PMID:27147833
Many studies have reported that there is no significant difference in survival rate between rhythm control and rate control strategies in combination of with anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation. Even in patients with atrial fibrillation and with heart failure there is no significant difference in survival rate between both strategies. There is no need of strict rate control. In patients with permanent atrial fibrillation, lemient rate control(resting heart rate of below 110 beats per minute) is as effective as strict rate control (< 70 beats per minute) and easier to achieve. Digitalis, beta-blockers and Ca channel blockers are used for rate control treatments. Digitalis is the only drug that has both decreasing ventricular response by suppressing atrioventricular conduction and inotropic effects. However, digitalis can not suppress heart rates during exercise. Beta-blockers and Ca channel blockers can suppress heart rates not only at rest but also during exercise. Ca channel blockers can not be used for patients with heart failure due to reduction in contractility of heart muscle. It has been reported that cardiac function and survival rate can be improved by beta-blockers in patients with heart failure if starting low dose and increasing gradually.
Csanádi, Zoltán; Fazekas, Tamás; Varró, András
The authors provide an update on non-pharmacological treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). They emphasize that although antiarrhythmic drugs continue to be first-line therapy for the arrhythmia considered to be a cardiovascular epidemic, clinical research to develop non-pharmacological means of treatment has been unprecedentally intensified during the last decade. Electrical cardioversion is the most successful non-pharmacological method to restore sinus rhythm, also the efficacy and safety of AV node ablation for palliative ventricular rate-controll is established. "Hybrid" therapeutic procedures, involving combinations of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions have gained widespread use. Curative transcatheter ablation for arrhythmia prevention is to be considered in case of clinical suggestions that AF is initiated by a primary regular arrhythmia that is amenable to routine catheter ablation (secondary AF). Despite encouraging results, at this point in time, curative catheter ablation for primary AF may offer significant improvement or even cure only for a small subset of patients, mostly young individuals with normal heart, and paroxysmal AF with frequent, symptomatic episodes refractory to multiple antiarrhythmic drugs. These interventions are to be performed in the settings of a clinical research project in some institutions. Regarding pacemaker therapy in case of bradycardia indication, physiologic pacing (AAI or DDD) is associated with significantly lower incidence of atrial fibrillation than ventricular pacing. Large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed to assess the clinical value of specially designed implantable devices to prevent atrial fibrillation in patients with no conventional bradycardia indication. Also, technical optimization and proper clinical evaluation is needed for implantable atrioverters and implantable cardioverter defibrillators capable of atrial cardioversion therapy.
Savoia, Carmine; Sada, Lidia; Volpe, Massimo
Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for atrial fibrillation which in turn is the most prevalent concomitant condition in hypertensive patients. While both these pathological conditions are independent risk factors for stroke, the association of hypertension and atrial fibrillation increases the incidence of disabling strokes. Moreover, documented or silent atrial fibrillation doubles the rate of cardiovascular death. Lowering blood pressure is strongly recommended, particularly for primary stroke prevention. However, a relatively small percentage of hypertensive patients still achieve the recommended blood pressure goals. The management of atrial fibrillation with respect to stroke prevention is changing. New oral anticoagulants represent a major advancement in long-term anticoagulation therapy in non valvular atrial fibrillation. They have several benefits over warfarin, including improved adherence to the anticoagulation therapy. This is an important issue since non-adherence to stroke prevention medications is a risk factor for first and recurrent strokes.
Patients with valvular heart disease frequently have atrial fibrillation(AF) due to elevated pressure and dilatation of the left and right atria and pulmonary veins. Guidelines for valvular heart disease and AF recommend that surgical treatment for the valvular heart disease should be performed concomitantly with AF surgery. The Full-Maze procedure has evolved into the gold standard of treatment for medically refractory AF. In addition to the pulmonary vein isolation, the right and left atrial incisions of the Full-Maze procedure are designed to block potential macroreentrant pathways. According to the mechanisms of AF with valvular heart disease, the Full-Maze procedure is more effective for the patients than the pulmonary vein isolation alone.
Bachmann, Justin M; Majmudar, Maulik; Tompkins, Christine; Blumenthal, Roger S; Marine, Joseph E
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia with significant morbidity and public health cost. Because of limitations of efficacy and safety of conventional antiarrhythmic agents, alternative therapies for AF are needed. The potential antiarrhythmic properties of lipid-altering therapy, including the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors and fish oils, are increasingly recognized, particularly in light of their potential anti-inflammatory properties. This review examines the known effects of lipid-altering therapy on atrial arrhythmias in both experimental and clinical settings. Inflammatory states, such as post-cardiac surgery and AF of recent onset, show promise as targets. In contrast, lipid-lowering therapy is less likely to affect longstanding persistent AF. Current recommendations for the use of lipid-altering therapy for prevention and treatment of AF are summarized.
Pistoia, Francesca; Sacco, Simona; Tiseo, Cindy; Degan, Diana; Ornello, Raffaele; Carolei, Antonio
The burden of stroke is increasing due to aging population and unhealthy lifestyle habits. The considerable rise in atrial fibrillation (AF) is due to greater diffusion of risk factors and screening programs. The link between AF and ischemic stroke is strong. The subtype most commonly associated with AF is cardioembolic stroke, which is particularly severe and shows the highest rates of mortality and permanent disability. A trend toward a higher prevalence of cardioembolic stroke in high-income countries is probably due to the greater diffusion of AF and the control of atherosclerotic of risk factors.
Mahida, Saagar; Sacher, Frederic; Derval, Nicolas; Berte, Benjamin; Yamashita, Seigo; Hooks, Darren; Denis, Arnaud; Amraoui, Sana; Hocini, Meleze; Haissaguerre, Michel; Jais, Pierre
Over the past few decades, significant progress has been made in understanding the mechanistic basis of atrial fibrillation (AF). One of the most important discoveries in this context has been that pulmonary veins (PV) play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of AF. PV isolation has since become the most widely used technique for treatment of paroxysmal AF. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the electrophysiological and anatomical characteristics of PVs create a proarrhythmogenic substrate. The following review discusses the mechanistic links between PVs and AF. PMID:26835098
Tarver, William J.
Concerns about heart dysrhythmia have been present since the earliest days of the US manned space program. While information about an astronaut's health is general kept private, one of the original seven American astronaut's health status was played out in a very public forum. Donald "Deke" Slayton was removed from the second manned space flight when it was discovered he had idiopathic atrial fibrillation. Referencing the original medical documents, details of how this was discovered and managed from the medical perspective will be reviewed. This is NASA's first heart dysrhythmia case in an astronaut and it proves quite interesting when placed in historic perspective.
... Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation; Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Availability... Ablation Devices for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation.'' This guidance provides FDA's recommendations on clinical trial designs for surgical ablation devices intended for the treatment of atrial...
Floria, Mariana; Drug, Vasile Liviu
We have read with interest the paper by Roman C. and colleagues discussing the relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease and atrial fibrillation. The review is presenting the available evidence for the common pathogenic mechanisms. However, from a cardiologist perspective, some available data were not highlighted in the review, cardiovascular involvement in gastroesophageal reflux is less assessed. Hypertension, obesity or diabetes mellitus are substrate for left atrial remodeling that initiate and sustained atrial fibrillation development. One of the pathophysiologic mechanisms in atrial fibrillation is the presence of a trigger. Gastroesophageal reflux could be only a trigger for this arrhythmia. We believe that atrial fibrillation should be considered as possible extraesophageal syndrome in the gastroesophageal reflux classification.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) remains the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting nearly 2% of the general population worldwide. Minimally invasive surgical ablation remains one of the most dynamically evolving fields of modern cardiac surgery. While there are more than a dozen issues driving this development, two seem to play the most important role: first, there is lack of evidence supporting percutaneous catheter based approach to treat patients with persistent and long-standing persistent AF. Paucity of this data offers surgical community unparalleled opportunity to challenge guidelines and change indications for surgical intervention. Large, multicenter prospective clinical studies are therefore of utmost importance, as well as honest, clear data reporting. Second, a collaborative methodology started a long-awaited debate on a Heart Team approach to AF, similar to the debate on coronary artery disease and transcatheter valves. Appropriate patient selection and tailored treatment options will most certainly result in better outcomes and patient satisfaction, coupled with appropriate use of always-limited institutional resources. The aim of this review, unlike other reviews of minimally invasive surgical ablation, is to present medical professionals with two distinctly different, approaches. The first one is purely surgical, Standalone surgical isolation of the pulmonary veins using bipolar energy source with concomitant amputation of the left atrial appendage—a method of choice in one of the most important clinical trials on AF—The Atrial Fibrillation Catheter Ablation Versus Surgical Ablation Treatment (FAST) Trial. The second one represents the most complex approach to this problem: a multidisciplinary, combined effort of a cardiac surgeon and electrophysiologist. The Convergent Procedure, which includes both endocardial and epicardial unipolar ablation bonds together minimally invasive endoscopic surgery with electroanatomical mapping, to deliver best of
Goyal, Sandeep K; Sharma, Abhishek
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia with rising incidence. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is prevalent among patients with AF. This observation has prompted significant research in understanding the relationship between OSA and AF. Multiple studies support a role of OSA in the initiation and progression of AF. This association has been independent of obesity, body mass index and hypertension. Instability of autonomic tone and wide swings in intrathoracic pressure are seen in OSA. These have been mechanistically linked to initiation of AF in OSA patients by lowering atrial effective refractory period, promoting pulmonary vein discharges and atrial dilation. OSA not only promotes initiation of AF but also makes management of AF difficult. Drug therapy and electrical cardioversion for AF are less successful in presence of OSA. There has been higher rate of early and overall recurrence after catheter ablation of AF in patients with OSA. Treatment of OSA with continuous positive airway pressure has been shown to improve control of AF. However, additional studies are needed to establish a stronger relationship between OSA treatment and success of AF therapies. There should be heightened suspicion of OSA in patients with AF. There is a need for guidelines to screen for OSA as a part of AF management. PMID:23802045
Wijesurendra, Rohan S; Casadei, Barbara
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained clinical arrhythmia and is associated with significant morbidity, mostly secondary to heart failure and stroke, and an estimated two-fold increase in premature death. Efforts to increase our understanding of AF and its complications have focused on unravelling the mechanisms of electrical and structural remodelling of the atrial myocardium. Yet, it is increasingly recognized that AF is more than an atrial disease, being associated with systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and adverse effects on the structure and function of the left ventricular myocardium that may be prognostically important. Here, we review the molecular and in vivo evidence that underpins current knowledge regarding the effects of human or experimental AF on the ventricular myocardium. Potential mechanisms are explored including diffuse ventricular fibrosis, focal myocardial scarring, and impaired myocardial perfusion and perfusion reserve. The complex relationship between AF, systemic inflammation, as well as endothelial/microvascular dysfunction and the effects of AF on ventricular calcium handling and oxidative stress are also addressed. Finally, consideration is given to the clinical implications of these observations and concepts, with particular reference to rate vs. rhythm control.
Kamel, Hooman; Okin, Peter M.; Longstreth, W. T.; Elkind, Mitchell S.V.; Soliman, Elsayed Z.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) has long been associated with a heightened risk of ischemic stroke and systemic thromboembolism, but recent data require a re-evaluation of our understanding of the nature of this relationship. New findings about the temporal connection between AF and stroke, alongside evidence linking markers of left atrial abnormalities with stroke in the absence of apparent AF, suggest that left atrial thromboembolism may occur even without AF. These observations undermine the hypothesis that the dysrhythmia that defines AF is necessary and sufficient to cause thromboembolism. In this commentary, we instead suggest that the substrate for thromboembolism may often be the anatomic and physiological atrial derangements associated with AF. Therefore, our understanding of cardioembolic stroke may be more complete if we shift our representation of its origin from AF to the concept of atrial cardiopathy. PMID:26021638
Hussein, Ayman A.; Saliba, Walid I.; Barakat, Amr; Bassiouny, Mohammed; Chamsi-Pasha, Mohammed; Al-Bawardy, Rasha; Hakim, Ali; Tarakji, Khaldoun; Baranowski, Bryan; Cantillon, Daniel; Dresing, Thomas; Tchou, Patrick; Martin, David O.; Varma, Niraj; Bhargava, Mandeep; Callahan, Thomas; Niebauer, Mark; Kanj, Mohamed; Chung, Mina; Natale, Andrea; Lindsay, Bruce D.; Wazni, Oussama M.
Background Various ablation strategies of persistent atrial fibrillation (PersAF) have had disappointing outcomes, despite concerted clinical and research efforts, which could reflect progressive atrial fibrillation–related atrial remodeling. Methods and Results Two-year outcomes were assessed in 1241 consecutive patients undergoing first-time ablation of PersAF (2005–2012). The time intervals between the first diagnosis of PersAF and the ablation procedures were determined. Patients had echocardiograms and measures of B-type natriuretic peptide and C-reactive protein before the procedures. The median diagnosis-to-ablation time was 3 years (25th–75th percentiles 1–6.5). With longer diagnosis-to-ablation time (based on quartiles), there was a significant increase in recurrence rates in addition to an increase in B-type natriuretic peptide levels (P=0.01), C-reactive protein levels (P<0.0001), and left atrial size (P=0.03). The arrhythmia recurrence rates over 2 years were 33.6%, 52.6%, 57.1%, and 54.6% in the first, second, third, and fourth quartiles, respectively (Pcategorical<0.0001). In Cox Proportional Hazard analyses, B-type natriuretic peptide levels, C-reactive protein levels, and left atrial size were associated with arrhythmia recurrence. The diagnosis-to-ablation time had the strongest association with the ablation outcomes which persisted in multivariable Cox analyzes (hazard ratio for recurrence per +1Log diagnosis-to-ablation time 1.27, 95% confidence interval 1.14–1.43; P<0.0001; hazard ratio fourth versus first quartile 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.68–3.65; Pcategorical<0.0001). Conclusions In patients with PersAF undergoing ablation, the time interval between the first diagnosis of PersAF and the catheter ablation procedure had a strong association with the ablation outcomes, such as shorter diagnosis-to-ablation times were associated with better outcomes and in direct association with markers of atrial remodeling. PMID:26763227
Ricard, P; Socas, A G; Taramasco, V; Guenoun, M; Lévy, S
The efficacy and safety of low internal cardioversion for the reduction of atrial fibrillation was assessed prospectively in 104 consecutive patients. Sixty-two patients had chronic atrial fibrillation (Group I). 16 patients had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (Group II) and 26 patients had induced atrial fibrillation (Group III). The average duration of the current episode of atrial fibrillation was 9 +/- 19 months in Group I, 4 +/- 2 days in Group II and 18 +/- 7 minutes in Group III. Two intracardiac defibrillation catheters were used, one (the cathode) in the right atrium and the other in the coronary sinus or left branch of the pulmonary artery (anode). These catheters were connected to an external defibrillator delivering biphasic 3/3 ms shocks with a voltage which could be programmed from 10 to 400 volts. The shocks were synchronised on the R wave. Sinus rhythm was restored in 44 of the 62 patients in Group I (70%), 12 of the 16 patients in Group II (75%) and 20 of the 26 patients in Group III (77%). The average voltages and energies restoring sinus rhythm were 300 +/- 68 volts and 3.5 +/- 1.5 joules respectively in Group I, 245 +/- 72 volts and 2.0 +/- 2.9 joules in Group II, and 270 +/- 67 volts and 2.6 +/- 1.2 joules in Group III. These results show that the energy required to restore sinus rhythm is significantly greater in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation than in patients with paroxysmal or induced atrial fibrillation. There were no ventricular proarrhythmic effects in the 686 shocks synchronised on the R wave. This study shows that internal cardioversion of atrial fibrillation is feasible with low energies under simple sedation. These results support the concept of an implantable atrial defibrillator.
Compostella, Leonida; Russo, Nicola; D’Onofrio, Augusto; Setzu, Tiziana; Compostella, Caterina; Bottio, Tomaso; Gerosa, Gino; Bellotto, Fabio
Introduction Complete denervation of transplanted heart exerts protective effect against postoperative atrial fibrillation; various degrees of autonomic denervation appear also after transection of ascending aorta during surgery for aortic aneurysm. Objective This study aimed to evaluate if the level of cardiac denervation obtained by resection of ascending aorta could exert any effect on postoperative atrial fibrillation incidence. Methods We retrospectively analysed the clinical records of 67 patients submitted to graft replacement of ascending aorta (group A) and 132 with aortic valve replacement (group B); all episodes of postoperative atrial fibrillation occurred during the 1-month follow-up have been reported. Heart Rate Variability parameters were obtained from a 24-h Holter recording; clinical, echocardiographic and treatment data were also evaluated. Results Overall, 45% of patients (group A 43%, group B 46%) presented at least one episode of postoperative atrial fibrillation. Older age (but not gender, abnormal glucose tolerance, ejection fraction, left atrial diameter) was correlated with incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation. Only among a subgroup of patients with aortic transection and signs of greater autonomic derangement (heart rate variability parameters below the median and mean heart rate over the 75th percentile), possibly indicating more profound autonomic denervation, a lower incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation was observed (22% vs. 54%). Conclusion Transection of ascending aorta for repair of an aortic aneurysm did not confer any significant protective effect from postoperative atrial fibrillation in comparison to patients with intact ascending aorta. It could be speculated that a limited and heterogeneous cardiac denervation was produced by the intervention, creating an eletrophysiological substrate for the high incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation observed. PMID:25859868
Misaki, Takuro; Fukahara, Kazuaki
After the introduction of endocardial radiofrequency catheter, only two arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation and ischemic ventricular tachycardia require surgical procedures. In this review, we describe recent advancements and problems of surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation. On the basis of multiple-circuit re-entry theory, Cox developed the maze operation with the aim of interrupting the re-entry circuit. Although this procedure has become the gold standard technique for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation with approximately 90% success rate, several modifications have been made over time. To obtain a more physiological atrial transport function, radial approach technique or bilateral appendage-preserved maze procedures were developed and to simplify surgical procedures, maze operation with cryo-ablation or radiofrequency-ablation were created. Other topics are concerned with surgical target or approach to atrial fibrillation. Ectopic focus theories from pulmonary veins have been widely recognized recently and the surgical isolation of pulmonary veins orifices is performed with various energy sources. In addition to standard cut-and-sew surgical technique, cryoablation, unipolar or bipolar radiofrequency ablation, or microwave ablation were induced with endocardial or epicardial approach for the achievement of less invasive cardiac surgery. As atrial fibrillation leads to frequent mortality, cardiac surgeons have to treat atrial fibrillation with other cardiac disease more frequently to obtain better quality of operative results.
Zeus, Tobias; Kelm, Malte; Bode, Christoph
Thrombo-embolic prophylaxis is a key element within the therapy of atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter. Besides new oral anticoagulants the concept of left atrial appendage occlusion has approved to be a good alternative option, especially in patients with increased risk of bleeding.
Non-vitamin K antagonist (VKA) oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have emerged as alternatives to VKAs for the prevention of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Four NOACS: dabigatran, apixaban, rivaroxaban and edoxaban, have received regulatory approval in Europe from the European Medicines Agency. Numerous factors can influence the decision to prescribe a NOAC, the most important of which are assessment of stroke and bleeding risks. Given the variation in design of the pivotal phase III clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of NOACs, and in the absence of head-to-head comparative data, it is impossible to recommend one NOAC over the other. However, NOACS offer the opportunity for individualised therapy based on factors such as renal function, age or patient/doctor preference for once- or twice-daily dosing regimens. Dose reduction of some NOACS should be considered in at-risk patient populations. PMID:27617088
Gourraud, Jean-Baptiste; Andrade, Jason G; Macle, Laurent
The invasive management of atrial fibrillation (AF) has been considerably changed by the identification of major sites of AF initiation and/or maintenance within the pulmonary vein antra. Percutaneous catheter ablation of these targets has become the standard of care for sustained maintenance of sinus rhythm. Long-term failure of ablation is related to an inability to create a durable transmural lesion or to identify all of the non-pulmonary vein arrhythmia triggers. Pharmacological challenges during catheter ablation have been suggested to improve outcomes in both paroxysmal and persistent AF. Herein we review the mechanism and evidence for the use of pharmacological adjuncts during the catheter ablation of AF. PMID:28116081
Alonso, Alvaro; Arenas de Larriva, Antonio P.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia. Growing evidence supports a role for AF as a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. In this review, we summarize epidemiologic observations linking AF with cognitive outcomes, describe potential mechanisms, and explore the impact of AF treatments on cognitive decline and dementia. Community-based, observational studies show a consistent higher rate of cognitive decline and risk of dementia in persons with AF. These associations are partly due to the increased risk of clinical stroke in AF, but other mechanisms, including incidence of silent cerebral infarcts, microbleeds, and cerebral hypoperfusion, are likely additional contributors. Adequate oral anticoagulation and improved management of the overall cardiovascular risk profile in persons with AF offer the promise of reducing the impact of AF on cognitive decline and dementia. PMID:27547248
Rogge, C; Hilbert, S; Dagres, N; Hindricks, G
Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of persistent cardiac arrhythmia with a greatly increasing prevalence due to an aging population and increasing cardiovascular risk factors. Apart from impairment of the quality of life atrial fibrillation is associated with a high morbidity, most importantly stroke and heart failure. The therapy is complex and aims at improving symptoms as well as the prevention of thromboembolic complications, heart failure and aggravating comorbidities. Based on individual patient characteristics and symptoms therapy is mainly based on heart rate control by pharmacological means or therapy for maintaining sinus rhythm. This treatment includes antiarrhythmic drugs and catheter ablation. Current research is aimed at the investigation of the electrophysiological mechanisms of recurrent therapy refractive atrial fibrillation and the question whether the maintenance of sinus rhythm can improve the prognosis of atrial fibrillation.
Littrell, Rachel; Flaker, Greg
Until recently, pharmaceutical options for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation were restricted to aspirin or vitamin K antagonist therapy. In recent years development has been underway for alternatives. Apixaban, a direct Factor Xa inhibitor, is orally dosed, target selective and has few known drug or food interactions. As such, it is a member of a new generation of anticoagulants expected to revolutionize the way we approach anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. Apixaban has been studied in Phase II and Phase III trials for a variety of indications. The AVERROES trial established apixaban as superior to aspirin for stroke reduction in patients with atrial fibrillation for whom vitamin K antagonist therapy is unsuitable. The recent ARISTOTLE trial found apixaban to be superior to warfarin for stroke prevention in a wide range of patients with atrial fibrillation, with significantly lower bleeding risk, and lower risk of all-cause mortality.
Wells, Gretchen L.; Morris, Peter E.
Background Although the mortality rate among patients with sepsis is declining, the incidence of both sepsis and sepsis-related deaths is increasing, likely due to its presence in a growing elderly population. As atrial fibrillation is more common in the elderly, we hypothesize that its presence will be associated with greater mortality among patients with sepsis. Methods The Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) database of a large tertiary care medical center was queried for sepsis-related codes and atrial fibrillation. Results Atrial fibrillation was associated with older age and a higher mortality in this series of patients with sepsis. Conclusions Whether atrial fibrillation is a marker of disease severity or contributes to mortality is uncertain. Further studies are necessary to determine optimal management.
Bayturan, Ozgur; Puri, Rishi; Tuzcu, E Murat; Shao, Mingyuan; Wolski, Kathy; Schoenhagen, Paul; Kapadia, Samir; Nissen, Steven E; Sanders, Prashanthan; Nicholls, Stephen J
Background Despite atrial fibrillation representing an established risk factor for stroke, the association between atrial fibrillation and both progression of coronary atherosclerosis and major adverse cardiovascular events is not well characterized. We assessed the serial measures of coronary atheroma burden and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with and without atrial fibrillation. Methods Data were analyzed from nine clinical trials involving 4966 patients with coronary artery disease undergoing serial intravascular ultrasonography at 18-24 month intervals to assess changes in percent atheroma volume (PAV). Using a propensity weighted analysis, and following adjustment for baseline variables, patients with ( n = 190) or without ( n = 4776) atrial fibrillation were compared with regard to coronary plaque volume and major adverse cardiovascular events (death, myocardial infarction, and stroke). Results Atrial fibrillation patients demonstrated lower baseline PAV (36.0 ± 8.9 vs. 38.1 ± 8.9%, p = 0.002) and less PAV progression (-0.07 ± 0.34 vs. + 0.23 ± 0.34%, p = 0.001) compared with the non-atrial fibrillation group. Multivariable analysis revealed atrial fibrillation to independently predict both myocardial infarction [HR, 2.41 (1.74,3.35), p<0.001] 2.41 (1.74, 3.35), p < 0.00) and major adverse cardiovascular events [HR, 2.2, (1.66, 2.92), p<0.001] 2.20 (1.66, 2.92), p < 0.001]. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that atrial fibrillation compared with non-atrial fibrillation patients had a significantly higher two-year cumulative incidence of overall major adverse cardiovascular events (4.4 vs. 2.0%, log-rank p = 0.02) and myocardial infarction (3.3 vs. 1.5%, log-rank p = 0.05). Conclusions The presence of atrial fibrillation independently associates with a heightened risk of myocardial infarction despite a lower baseline burden and progression rate of coronary atheroma. Further studies are necessary to define
Onuchina, E L; Solov'ev, O V; Mochalova, O V; Kononov, S K; Onuchin, S G
The aim of the study was to elucidate specific features of chronic recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with metabolic syndrome (MS) and disturbed carbohydrate metabolism compared with AF patients without MS. It enrolled 145 patients aged 44-83 years: 117 with abdominal obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2, waist circumference >80 and 94 cm in women and men respectively) including 30 without metabolic disturbances; 35 with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), 52 with type 2 DM, and 28 controls without MS. Parameters measured included frequency and severity of AF, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, albuminurea, C-reactive peptide level, quality of AH control, results of echocardiography and 24 hour ECG monitoring (sinus rhythm), and insulin resistance index (HOMA IRindex). Groups of AF and MS patients were dominated by women. The frequency and severity of AF relapses in MS patients were higher than in controls (especially in the presence of IGT and DM). IGT and DM2 associated with structural changes in myocardium (left atrial dilatation, prevalence of LV concentric hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction) coupled to higher systolic AH and marked metabolic disorders (hyperglycemia, IR, elevated microalbuminurea and C-reactive protein level, dyslipidemia). These conditions contribute to the frequency and severity of AF relapses. Development of AF in MS is a multifactor problem necessitating strict control of AH, dyslipidemia, DM2 and IGT, reduction of body weight and abdominal obesity.
German, David M; Kabir, Muammar M; Dewland, Thomas A; Henrikson, Charles A; Tereshchenko, Larisa G
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in adults and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Substantial interest has developed in the primary prevention of AF, and thus the identification of individuals at risk for developing AF. The electrocardiogram (ECG) provides a wealth of information, which is of value in predicting incident AF. The PR interval and P wave indices (including P wave duration, P wave terminal force, P wave axis, and other measures of P wave morphology) are discussed with regard to their ability to predict and characterize AF risk in the general population. The predictive value of the QT interval, ECG criteria for left ventricular hypertrophy, and findings of atrial and ventricular ectopy are also discussed. Efforts are underway to develop models that predict AF incidence in the general population; however, at present, little information from the ECG is included in these models. The ECG provides a great deal of information on AF risk and has the potential to contribute substantially to AF risk estimation, but more research is needed.
Dhoble, Abhijeet; Patel, Mehul B; Abdelmoneim, Sahar S; Puttarajappa, Chethan; Abela, George S; Bhatt, Deepak L; Thakur, Ranjan K
Porphyrias are a group of inherited disorders affecting enzymes in the heme biosynthesis pathway, leading to overproduction and/or accumulation of porphyrin or its precursors. Porphyrias have been associated with autonomic dysfunction, which in turn can develop atrial fibrillation (AF). The purpose of this study was to characterize the prevalence of AF and atrial flutter (AFl) in patients with porphyrias. A single-center retrospective cohort study was designed using data from chart reviews of patients who were admitted to the hospital from January 2000 to June 2008. Fifty-six distinct cases were found with a discharge diagnosis of porphyria including all its subtypes. From the same database, age- and gender-matched controls were identified using computer-generated random numbers. We selected 1 age- and gender-matched control for each case. Electrocardiograms and echocardiograms were reviewed by 2 independent reviewers. Only patients with available 12-lead electrocardiograms that showed AF/AFl were labeled with that diagnosis. All patients with a diagnosis of porphyria were included in the study irrespective of their age. Seven of 56 patients with porphyria met inclusion criteria, yielding a prevalence of AF/AFl of 12.5%. This association was significant (p = 0.028, relative risk 7.45, 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 66.14) compared with the age- and gender-matched control group (2%). In conclusion, our observations suggest that porphyria may be significantly associated with AF/AFl.
Chen, Xiaodong; Chen, Minglong; Wang, Yingying; Yang, Bing; Ju, Weizhu; Zhang, Fengxiang; Cao, Kejiang
Abstract We sought to investigate variation of atrial electromechanical interval after catheter ablation procedure in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation using pulse Doppler (PW) and pulse tissue Doppler imaging (PW-TDI). A total of 25 consecutive in-patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, who restored sinus rhythm after ablation procedure, were recruited in our cardiac center. Echocardiography was performed on each patient at 2 hours, 1 day, 5 days, 1 month and 3 months after the ablation therapy, and atrial electromechanical delay was measured simultaneously by PW and PW-TDI. There was no significant difference between PW and TDI in measuring atrial electromechanical delay. However, at postoperative 2 hours, peak A detection rates were mathematically but nonsignificantly greater by PW-TDI than by PW. Second, there was a significant decreasing trend in atrial electromechanical interval from postoperative 2 hours to 3 months, but only postoperative 2-hour atrial electromechanical interval was significantly greater than atrial electromechanical interval at other time. Lastly, patients without postoperative 2-hour atrial electromechanical interval had a significantly longer duration of atrial fibrillation as compared to those with postoperative 2-hour atrial electromechanical interval, by the PW or by PW-TDI, respectively. In patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, atrial electromechanical interval may decrease significantly within the first 24 hours after ablation but remain consistent later, and was significantly related to patients’ duration of atrial fibrillation. Atrial electromechanical interval, as a potential predicted factor, is recommended to be measured by either PW or TDI after 24 hours, when patients had recovered sinus rhythm by radiofrequency ablation. PMID:27924066
Kalifa, J; Maixent, JM; Chalvidan, T; Dalmasso, C; Colin, D; Cozma, D; Laurent, P; Deharo, JC; Djiane, P; Cozzone, P; Bernard, M
Background and methods Perturbations in energetic metabolism and impaired atrial contractility may play an important role in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation (AF). Besides, atrial stretch is commonly associated with AF. However, the atrial energetics of stretch-related AF are poorly understood. Here, we measured indicators of energy metabolism during acute-stretch related AF. PCr, adenine nucleotides and derivatives concentrations as well as the activity of the F0F1-ATPase and Na,K-ATPase were obtained after one hour of stretch and/or AF in isolated rabbit hearts and compared to control hearts without stretch and AF. Results After one hour of stretch-related AF, the total adenine nucleotides pool was significantly lower (42.2±2.6 versus 63.7±8.3 µmol/g protein in control group, p<0.05) and the PCr/ATP ratio significantly higher (2.3±0.3 vs 1.1± 0.1 in control group p<0.05), because of ATP, ADP and AMP decrease and PCr increase. The sum of high energy phosphate compounds did not change. There were no significant differences in F0F1-ATPase nor Na,K-ATPase activity between the groups. Conclusions Results show that in this experimental model, acute-stretch related AF induces specific modifications of atrial myocytes energetics that may play a pivotal role in the perpetuation of the arrhythmia. PMID:18553177
detection of patients prone to atrial fibrillation (AF), one of the most frequent arrhythmias. It focuses first on the segmentation of the...Keywords : atrial fibrillation , ECG segmentation, P-wave, hidden Markov model, wavelets, ECG database I. INTRODUCTION Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a very... atrial thrombosis, with the subsequent risk of a stroke. The aim of this study is to try to automatically detect patients prone to atrial fibrillation (AF
Afdala, Adfal; Nuryani, Nuryani; Satriyo Nugroho, Anto
Atrial Fibrillation is one of heart disease, that common characterized by irregularity heart beat. Atrial fibrillation leads to severe complications such as cardiac failure with the subsequent risk of a stroke. A method to detect atrial fibrillation is needed to prevent a risk of atrial fibrillation. This research uses data from physionet in atrial fibrillation database category. The performance of Shannon entropy has the highest accuracy if a threshold is 0.5 with accuracy 89.79%, sensitivity 91.04% and specificity 89.01%. Based on the result we get a conclusion, the ability of Shannon entropy to detect atrial fibrillation is good.
Aparina, O P; Chikhireva, L N; Stukalova, O V; Mironova, N A; Kashtanova, S Iu; Ternovoĭ, S K; Golitsyn, S P
Changes of atrial structure and function are the contributors of atrial fibrillation clinical course, complications and treatment effectiveness. Effects of inflammation and mechanical stretch on atrial structural remodeling leading to atrial fibrillation are reviewed in the article. Contemporary invasive and non-invasive methods of evaluation (including late gadolinium enhancement magnetic resonance imaging) of patients with atrial structural remodeling in atrial fibrillation are also described.
Nair, Ajith G; Fischer, Avi G
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is associated with an increased incidence of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in HCM with a prevalence of 20% and an annual incidence of two percent per year. Increased left atrial size and volume along with impaired left atrial function confer an increased likelihood of AF. The onset of AF is often accompanied by a decrease in functional status in conjunction with an increased risk of stroke and overall mortality.
Sundqvist, Martin; Sandström, Herbert; Sahlin, Carin; Rohani, Morteza; Al-Khalili, Faris; Hörnsten, Rolf; Blomberg, Anders; Wester, Per; Rosenqvist, Mårten; Franklin, Karl A.
Study objectives Obstructive sleep apnea is common among patients with atrial fibrillation, but the prevalence and risk factors for atrial fibrillation among patients who are being investigated on suspicion of sleep apnea are not well known. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of atrial fibrillation among patients investigated for suspected obstructive sleep apnea and to identify risk factors for atrial fibrillation among them. Methods The prevalence of atrial fibrillation was investigated among 201 patients referred for suspected obstructive sleep apnea. Patients without known atrial fibrillation were investigated with a standard 12-lead ECG at hospital and short intermittent handheld ECG recordings at home, during 14 days. Results Atrial fibrillation occurred in 13 of 201 subjects (6.5%), and in 12 of 61 men aged 60 years and older (20%). The prevalence of atrial fibrillation increased with sleep apnea severity (p = 0.038). All patients with atrial fibrillation were men and all had sleep apnea. Age 60 or older, the occurrence of central sleep apnea and diabetes mellitus were independent risk factors for atrial fibrillation after adjustments for body mass index, gender, sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease. Conclusions Atrial fibrillation is common among subjects referred for sleep apnea investigation and the prevalence of atrial fibrillation increases with sleep apnea severity. Independent risk factors for atrial fibrillation among patients investigated for suspected obstructive sleep apnea include the occurrence of coexisting central sleep apnea, age 60 years or older and diabetes mellitus. PMID:28178304
Stewart, G A; Fulton, L J; McKellar, C D
Atrial fibrillation is described in a champion pacer which earlier had been named Australian Harness Horse of the Year as a 3-year-old in 1986-87. Prior to conversion atrial fibrillation had been present for at least 6 weeks, during which the horse had not raced. Successful treatment was achieved with two 10g doses of quinidine sulphate per oesophageal tube, after slow digitalisation with intravenous digoxin over 4d. Four hours after commencement of quinidine therapy the arrhythmia had regressed to atrial flutter and converted to sinus rhythm 10 min later. Considering his age, standard of racing and high reputation the horse's overall performance as a 5-year-old after conversion from atrial fibrillation appeared comparable to his previous performance as a 4-year-old before the disorder occurred. In one of the wins since his return to sinus rhythm, the horse recorded his fastest winning speed and created a new track record at the major Melbourne racetrack. The absence of abnormalities of atrial and atrio-ventricular conduction after the cessation of the arrhythmia, together with the horse's return to successful racing, indicate that this was case of atrial fibrillation occurring as a functional disorder without persistent atrial pathology.
Prystowsky, E N
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in humans. The 3 basic tenets of therapy are (1) restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm; (2) ventricular rate control; and (3) prevention of thromboembolism. Maintenance of sinus rhythm appears preferable to rate control alone in patients with significant symptoms caused by AF. Complete suppression of AF with drug therapy for >6 months is unusual, but it is not the sole criterion of success. As with other chronic cardiac disorders such as angina and heart failure, a marked reduction in frequency and duration of episodes of AF will likely translate into an excellent clinical outcome. The major risk of antiarrhythmic drug therapy is ventricular proarrhythmia, which is seen most frequently in patients with substantial left ventricular dysfunction. Torsade de pointes is the most frequent proarrhythmia that occurs with antiarrhythmic agents that prolong ventricular repolarization and the QT interval. To minimize the risk of proarrhythmia, antiarrhythmic drugs are started in-hospital in patients with significant heart disease, and agents are selected based on certain patient characteristics. For example, the drugs initially selected for patients with heart failure and coronary artery disease are amiodarone and sotalol, respectively. Two approaches may be used to decrease the thromboembolic risk associated with cardioversion of AF to sinus rhythm. In the conventional method, warfarin is given (INR 2.0-3.0) for 3 weeks before and at least 4 weeks after cardioversion. An alternative approach employs transesophageal echocardiography to rule out left atrial thrombi before cardioversion. Both methods appear reasonable and safe, and I prefer the conventional and transesophageal echocardiography-guided approaches for outpatients and in-hospital patients, respectively.
Dalal, Rahul S.; Sabe, Ashraf A.; Elmadhun, Nassrene Y.; Ramlawi, Basel; Sellke, Frank W.
OBJECTIVE Atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline are common complications after cardiopulmonary bypass. By utilizing genomic microarrays we investigate whether gene expression is associated with postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline. METHODS Twenty one cardiac surgery patients were prospectively matched and underwent neurocognitive assessments pre-operatively and four days postoperatively. The whole blood collected in the pre-cardiopulmonary bypass, 6 hours after-cardiopulmonary bypass, and on the 4th postoperative day was hybridized to Affymetrix Gene Chip U133 Plus 2.0 Microarrays. Gene expression in patients who developed postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline (n=6; POAF+NCD) was compared with gene expression in patients with postoperative atrial fibrillation and normal cognitive function (n=5; POAF+NORM) and patients with sinus rhythm and normal cognitive function (n=10; SR+NORM). Regulated genes were identified using JMP Genomics 4.0 with a false discovery rate of 0.05 and fold change of >1.5 or <-1.5. RESULTS Eleven patients developed postoperative atrial fibrillation. Six of these also developed neurocognitive decline. Of the 12 patients with sinus rhythm, only 2 developed neurocognitive decline. POAF+NCD patients had unique regulation of 17 named genes preoperatively, 60 named genes six hours after cardiopulmonary bypass, and 34 named genes four days postoperatively (P<0.05) compared with normal patients. Pathway analysis demonstrated that these genes are involved in cell death, inflammation, cardiac remodeling and nervous system function. CONCLUSION Patients who developed postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline after cardiopulmonary bypass may have differential genomic responses compared to normal patients and patients with only postoperative atrial fibrillation, suggesting common pathophysiology for these conditions. Further exploration of these genes may provide insight into the
Laukkanen, Jari A; Zaccardi, Francesco; Karppi, Jouni; Ronkainen, Kimmo; Kurl, Sudhir
There is limited knowledge on the relationship between kidney function and incidence of atrial fibrillation. Thus, this prospective study was designed to evaluate whether various biomarkers of kidney function are associated to the risk of atrial fibrillation. The study population consisted of 1840 subjects (615 women and 1225 men) aged 61-82 years. Cystatin C- and creatinine-based estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcys and eGRFcreat , respectively) and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) were assessed to investigate their relationship with the risk of atrial fibrillation. During a median follow-up of 3.7 years, a total of 159 incident atrial fibrillation cases occurred. After adjustment for potential confounders, the risk of atrial fibrillation was increased (hazard ratio 2.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.56-4.81, P < 0.001) in subjects with reduced kidney function (eGFRcys , 15-59 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) ) compared to subjects with normal kidney function (≥90 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) ). Similar results were also found when comparing the respective groups of subjects defined by their eGRFcreat levels (hazard ratio 2.41, CI 1.09-5.30, P = 0.029). Consistently, subjects with ACR ≥300 mg/g had an increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation (hazard ratio 2.16, CI 1.35-2.82, P < 0.001) compared to those with ACR <30 mg/g. Reduced eGFR and albuminuria were associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.
Sherman, David G
Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia associated with increased risk for embolic stroke. Restoration of sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation is a logical strategy to prevent the cardiovascular and thromboembolic complications of this dysrhythmia. The most common strategy for restoration of sinus rhythm is pharmacological antiarrhythmic therapy with or without electrical cardioversion. Five randomized clinical trials compared rhythm to rate-control strategies in patients with atrial fibrillation. These trials examined mortality, thromboembolic complications, exercise tolerance, quality of life, hospital admissions and drug-related adverse reactions. Mortality ranged from 2.9% to 23.8% among the trial subjects randomized to rhythm control versus 1.0% to 21.3% in the rate control subjects. The risk of thromboemboli was greater: 2.9% to 7.9% in the rhythm-control subjects compared with 0% to 5.5% in the rate control subjects. Hospital admissions and drug-related adverse events were increased in the rhythm-control subjects. Stroke and systemic emboli occurred more often in the rhythm-control subjects many of whom had been withdrawn from anticoagulation. Rhythm-control offered no advantage compared with rate control for patients with atrial fibrillation at increased risk for stroke. One explanation for this finding is that those patients thought to have been successfully converted to sinus rhythm in fact had asymptomatic paroxysmal episodes of atrial fibrillation increasing their risk of stroke because they were unprotected by anticoagulation. Pharmacological attempts to restore atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm do not improve mortality or reduce thromboembolic events. All patients with atrial fibrillation at increased risk for stroke should be continued on long-term anticoagulation even if they appear to have been successfully restored to sinus rhythm.
Gillinov, A. Marc; Gelijns, Annetine C.; Parides, Michael K.; DeRose, Joseph J.; Moskowitz, Alan J.; Voisine, Pierre; Ailawadi, Gorav; Bouchard, Denis; Smith, Peter K.; Mack, Michael J.; Acker, Michael A.; Mullen, John C.; Rose, Eric A.; Chang, Helena L.; Puskas, John D.; Couderc, Jean-Philippe; Gardner, Timothy J.; Varghese, Robin; Horvath, Keith A.; Bolling, Steven F.; Michler, Robert E.; Geller, Nancy L.; Ascheim, Deborah D.; Miller, Marissa A.; Bagiella, Emilia; Moquete, Ellen G.; Williams, Paula; Taddei-Peters, Wendy C.; O’Gara, Patrick T.; Blackstone, Eugene H.; Argenziano, Michael
Background Among patients undergoing mitral-valve surgery, 30 to 50% present with atrial fibrillation, which is associated with reduced survival and increased risk of stroke. Surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation has been widely adopted, but evidence regarding its safety and effectiveness is limited. Methods We randomly assigned 260 patients with persistent or long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation who required mitral-valve surgery to undergo either surgical ablation (ablation group) or no ablation (control group) during the mitral-valve operation. Patients in the ablation group underwent further randomization to pulmonary-vein isolation or a biatrial maze procedure. All patients underwent closure of the left atrial appendage. The primary end point was freedom from atrial fibrillation at both 6 months and 12 months (as assessed by means of 3-day Holter monitoring). Results More patients in the ablation group than in the control group were free from atrial fibrillation at both 6 and 12 months (63.2% vs. 29.4%, P<0.001). There was no significant difference in the rate of freedom from atrial fibrillation between patients who underwent pulmonary-vein isolation and those who underwent the biatrial maze procedure (61.0% and 66.0%, respectively; P = 0.60). One-year mortality was 6.8% in the ablation group and 8.7% in the control group (hazard ratio with ablation, 0.76; 95% confidence interval, 0.32 to 1.84; P = 0.55). Ablation was associated with more implantations of a permanent pacemaker than was no ablation (21.5 vs. 8.1 per 100 patient-years, P = 0.01). There were no significant between-group differences in major cardiac or cerebrovascular adverse events, overall serious adverse events, or hospital readmissions. Conclusions The addition of atrial fibrillation ablation to mitral-valve surgery significantly increased the rate of freedom from atrial fibrillation at 1 year among patients with persistent or long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation, but the
von Bodman, G; Brömsen, J; Kopf, C; Füller, M; Block, M
Two young patients with documented episodes of symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation have been referred for pulmonary vein isolation. Both patients had a history of concomitant regular tachycardia. in both cases pulmonaryvein isolation has not been performed but in each patient a supraventricular tachycardia (right focal atrial tachycardia/atrioventricular reentry tachycardia) could be induced and ablated instead. Concomitant supraventricular tachycardia acting as a trigger arrhythmia is frequent in young patients with atrial fibrillation without underlying cardiacdisease. In these patients a concomitant supra-ventricular tachycardia should beexcluded by electrophysiological study or ablated before pulmonary vein isolation or initiating an antiarrhythmic drug therapy. In most cases ablation of supraventricular tachycardia is safe and successful whereas the risks of ablative therapy of atrial fibrillation can not be neglected and success is moderate.
Veltkamp, R; Hacke, W
Atrial fibrillation (AF) causes at least 20% of all ischemic strokes. In large randomized trials of primary and secondary stroke prevention, anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) protected much more efficiently than antiplatelet agents against stroke. Because of the problematic pharmacological properties of VKA only part of the AF patients are currently being treated with oral anticoagulants (OAK). The targeted development of specific oral inhibitors of the central coagulation factors thrombin and factor Xa allows reliable anticoagulation without regular coagulation monitoring. In the present review, pharmacological properties of the different agents are compared. Of the four large randomized phase 3 studies in AF (RELY, ROCKET-AF, ARISTOTLE, ENGAGE-AF) with the primary efficacy endpoint stroke and systemic embolism, the published data from the RELY trial indicate a superior efficacy of dabigatran etexilate (2 × 150 mg/day) and a lower risk of intracranial hemorrhage compared to warfarin. Favorable preliminary results have been demonstrated for the factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban. Apixaban was more efficacious than ASA and had a similar risk of hemorrhage in the AVERROES study. Thus, the available data suggest a favorable benefit-risk ratio for the new substances in addition to improved patient comfort. Currently unresolved issues relate to the verification of patient adherence by suitable coagulation tests and to the emergency coagulation diagnostics and therapy in acute ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes under the new OAC.
Xu, Joshua; Luc, Jessica G Y; Phan, Kevin
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent cardiac arrhythmia in modern clinical practice, with an estimated prevalence of 1.5-2%. The prevalence of AF is expected to double in the next decades, progressing with age and increasingly becoming a global medical challenge. The first-line treatment for AF is often medical treatment with either rate control or anti-arrhythmic agents for rhythm control, in addition to anti-coagulants such as warfarin for stroke prevention in patient at risk. Catheter ablation has emerged as an alternative for AF treatment, which involves myocardial tissue lesions to disrupt the underlying triggers and substrates for AF. Surgical approaches have also been developed for treatment of AF, particularly for patients requiring concomitant cardiac surgery or those refractory to medical and catheter ablation treatments. Since the introduction of the Cox-Maze III, this procedure has evolved into several modern variations, including the use of alternative energy sources (Cox-Maze IV) such as radiofrequency, cryo-energy and microwave, as well as minimally invasive thoracoscopic epicardial approaches. Another recently introduced technique is the hybrid ablation approach, where in a single setting both epicardial thoracoscopic ablation lesions and endocardial catheter ablation lesions are performed by the cardiothoracic surgeon and cardiologist. There remains controversy surrounding the optimal approach for AF ablation, energy sources, and lesion sets employed. The goal of this article is review the history, classifications, pathophysiology and current treatment options for AF.
Alonso, Alvaro; Norby, Faye L.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia associated with an increased risk of stroke and other complications. Identifying individuals at higher risk of developing AF in the community is now possible using validated predictive models that take into account clinical variables and circulating biomarkers. These models have shown adequate performance in racially and ethnically diverse populations. Similarly, risk stratification schemes predict incidence of ischemic stroke in persons with AF, assisting clinicians and patients in decisions regarding oral anticoagulation use. Complementary schemes have been developed to predict the risk of bleeding in AF patients taking vitamin K antagonists. However, major gaps in our ability to predict AF and its complications exist. Additional research should refine models for AF prediction and determine their value to improve population health and clinical outcomes, advance our ability to predict stroke and other complications in AF patients, and develop predictive models for bleeding events and other adverse effects in patients using non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants. PMID:27008924
Xu, Joshua; Luc, Jessica G. Y.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent cardiac arrhythmia in modern clinical practice, with an estimated prevalence of 1.5–2%. The prevalence of AF is expected to double in the next decades, progressing with age and increasingly becoming a global medical challenge. The first-line treatment for AF is often medical treatment with either rate control or anti-arrhythmic agents for rhythm control, in addition to anti-coagulants such as warfarin for stroke prevention in patient at risk. Catheter ablation has emerged as an alternative for AF treatment, which involves myocardial tissue lesions to disrupt the underlying triggers and substrates for AF. Surgical approaches have also been developed for treatment of AF, particularly for patients requiring concomitant cardiac surgery or those refractory to medical and catheter ablation treatments. Since the introduction of the Cox-Maze III, this procedure has evolved into several modern variations, including the use of alternative energy sources (Cox-Maze IV) such as radiofrequency, cryo-energy and microwave, as well as minimally invasive thoracoscopic epicardial approaches. Another recently introduced technique is the hybrid ablation approach, where in a single setting both epicardial thoracoscopic ablation lesions and endocardial catheter ablation lesions are performed by the cardiothoracic surgeon and cardiologist. There remains controversy surrounding the optimal approach for AF ablation, energy sources, and lesion sets employed. The goal of this article is review the history, classifications, pathophysiology and current treatment options for AF. PMID:27747025
Starek, Zdenk; Lehar, Frantisek; Jez, Jiri; Wolf, Jiri; Novák, Miroslav
Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Because of the sub-optimal outcomes and associated risks of medical therapy as well as the recent advances in non-pharmacologic strategies, a multitude of combined (hybrid) algorithms have been introduced that improve efficacy of standalone therapies while maintaining a high safety profile. Antiarrhythmic administration enhances success rate of electrical cardioversion. Catheter ablation of antiarrhythmic drug-induced typical atrial flutter may prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation. Through simple ablation in the right atrium, suppression of atrial fibrillation may be achieved in patients with previously ineffective antiarrhythmic therapy. Efficacy of complex catheter ablation in the left atrium is improved with antiarrhythmic drugs. Catheter ablation followed by permanent pacemaker implantation is an effective and safe treatment option for selected patients. Additional strategies include pacing therapies such as atrial pacing with permanent pacemakers, preventive pacing algorithms, and/or implantable dual-chamber defibrillators are available. Modern hybrid strategies combining both epicardial and endocardial approaches in order to create a complex set of radiofrequency lesions in the left atrium have demonstrated a high rate of success and warrant further research. Hybrid therapy for atrial fibrillation reviews history of development of non-pharmacological treatment strategies and outlines avenues of ongoing research in this field.
Shamoun, Fadi; Obeid, Hiba; Ramakrishna, Harish
Atrial fibrillation continues to be a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Effective anticoagulation remains the cornerstone of outpatient and inpatient treatment. The use of the new generation of anticoagulants (NOACs) continues to grow. Recently published data indicate their cost-effectiveness and overall safety in stroke prevention; compared to vitamin K antagonists, they can be prescribed in fixed doses for long-term therapy without the need for coagulation monitoring. Both United States and European Guidelines recommend NOACs for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. This review discusses each of the NOACs, along with their efficacy and safety data. It explores the most recent guidelines regarding their perioperative use in atrial fibrillation patients. It also discusses bleeding complications, perioperative management, and reversal agents. PMID:26221593
Kaiser, Stefanie; Kirst, Malte; Kunze, Christophe
Two versions of a new detector for automatic real-time detection of atrial fibrillation in non-invasive ECG signals are introduced. The methods are based on beat to beat variability, tachogram analysis and simple signal filtering. The implementation on mobile devices is made possible due to the low demand on computing power of the employed analysis procedures. The proposed algorithms correctly identified 436 of 440 five minute episodes of atrial fibrillation or flutter and also correctly identified up to 302 of 342 episodes of no atrial fibrillation, including normal sinus rhythm as well as other cardiac arrhythmias. These numbers correspond to a sensitivity of 99.1 % and a specificity of 88.3%.
Karim, R.; Mohiaddin, R.; Rueckert, D.
Segmentation of the left atrium is vital for pre-operative assessment of its anatomy in radio-frequency catheter ablation (RFCA) surgery. RFCA is commonly used for treating atrial fibrillation. In this paper we present an semi-automatic approach for segmenting the left atrium and the pulmonary veins from MR angiography (MRA) data sets. We also present an automatic approach for further subdividing the segmented atrium into the atrium body and the pulmonary veins. The segmentation algorithm is based on the notion that in MRA the atrium becomes connected to surrounding structures via partial volume affected voxels and narrow vessels, the atrium can be separated if these regions are characterized and identified. The blood pool, obtained by subtracting the pre- and post-contrast scans, is first segmented using a region-growing approach. The segmented blood pool is then subdivided into disjoint subdivisions based on its Euclidean distance transform. These subdivisions are then merged automatically starting from a seed point and stopping at points where the atrium leaks into a neighbouring structure. The resulting merged subdivisions produce the segmented atrium. Measuring the size of the pulmonary vein ostium is vital for selecting the optimal Lasso catheter diameter. We present a second technique for automatically identifying the atrium body from segmented left atrium images. The separating surface between the atrium body and the pulmonary veins gives the ostia locations and can play an important role in measuring their diameters. The technique relies on evolving interfaces modelled using level sets. Results have been presented on 20 patient MRA datasets.
Lubitz, Steven A.; Weng, Lu-Chen; Christophersen, Ingrid E.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Gibbs, Richard A.; Cupples, L. Adrienne; Mohler, Peter J.; Nickerson, Deborah A.; Muzny, Donna; Psaty, Bruce M.; Soliman, Elsayed Z.; Sotoodehnia, Nona; Lunetta, Kathryn L.; Heckbert, Susan R.; Arking, Dan E.; Ellinor, Patrick T.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a morbid and heritable arrhythmia. Over 35 genes have been reported to underlie AF, most of which were described in small candidate gene association studies. Replication remains lacking for most, and therefore the contribution of coding variation to AF susceptibility remains poorly understood. We examined whole exome sequencing data in a large community-based sample of 1,734 individuals with and 9,423 without AF from the Framingham Heart Study, Cardiovascular Health Study, Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, and NHLBI-GO Exome Sequencing Project and meta-analyzed the results. We also examined whether genetic variation was enriched in suspected AF genes (N = 37) in AF cases versus controls. The mean age ranged from 59 to 73 years; 8,656 (78%) were of European ancestry. None of the 99,404 common variants evaluated was significantly associated after adjusting for multiple testing. Among the most significantly associated variants was a common (allele frequency = 86%) missense variant in SYNPO2L (rs3812629, p.Pro707Leu, [odds ratio 1.27, 95% confidence interval 1.13–1.43, P = 6.6x10-5]) which lies at a known AF susceptibility locus and is in linkage disequilibrium with a top marker from prior analyses at the locus. We did not observe significant associations between rare variants and AF in gene-based tests. Individuals with AF did not display any statistically significant enrichment for common or rare coding variation in previously implicated AF genes. In conclusion, we did not observe associations between coding genetic variants and AF, suggesting that large-effect coding variation is not the predominant mechanism underlying AF. A coding variant in SYNPO2L requires further evaluation to determine whether it is causally related to AF. Efforts to identify biologically meaningful coding variation underlying AF may require large sample sizes or populations enriched for large genetic effects. PMID:27589061
Wilde, Sandra; Wiltink, Jörg; Wild, Philipp S.; Sinning, Christoph R.; Lubos, Edith; Ojeda, Francisco M.; Zeller, Tanja; Munzel, Thomas; Blankenberg, Stefan; Beutel, Manfred E.
Background Initial evidence suggests that depressive symptoms are more frequent in patients with atrial fibrillation. Data from the general population are limited. Methods and Results In 10,000 individuals (mean age 56±11 years, 49.4% women) of the population-based Gutenberg Health Study we assessed depression by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and a history of depression in relation to manifest atrial fibrillation (n = 309 cases). The median (25th/75th percentile) PHQ-9 score of depressive symptoms was 4 (2/6) in atrial fibrillation individuals versus 3 (2/6) individuals without atrial fibrillation, . Multivariable regression analyses of the severity of depressive symptoms in relation to atrial fibrillation in cardiovascular risk factor adjusted models revealed a relation of PHQ-9 values and atrial fibrillation (odds ratio (OR) 1.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.08; P = 0.023). The association was stronger for the somatic symptom dimension of depression (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.02–1.15; P = 0.0085) than for cognitive symptoms (OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.98–1.11; P = 0.15). Results did not change markedly after additional adjustment for heart failure, partnership status or the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein. Both, self-reported physical health status, very good/good versus fair/bad, (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.41–0.70; P<0.001) and mental health status (OR 0.61 (0.46–0.82); P = 0.0012) were associated with atrial fibrillation in multivariable-adjusted models. Conclusions In a population-based sample we observed a higher burden of depressive symptoms driven by somatic symptom dimensions in individuals with atrial fibrillation. Depression was associated with a worse perception of physical or mental health status. Whether screening and treatment of depressive symptoms modulates disease progression and outcome needs to be shown. PMID:24324579
Gorenek, Bulent; Kudaiberdieva, Gulmira
Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Its management requires high healthcare expenditures; 52%-70% of expenses for AF care are constituted by hospitalization costs. The current management strategies of pharmacological rhythm control and pharmacological or invasive rate control show no difference in impact on major outcomes in patients with AF. Radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFA) has been shown to reduce the risk of AF recurrence, improve quality of life and reduce hospitalization rate as compared to pharmacological rhythm control and rate control strategies. This review summarizes current knowledge on cost and cost-effectiveness analysis of RFA for patients with atrial fibrillation.
Rienstra, Michiel; Van Gelder, Isabelle C
In the last few years, there has been a major shift in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the setting of hear failure (HF), from rhythm to ventricular rate control in most patients with both conditions. In this article, the authors focus on ventricular rate control and discuss the indications; the optimal ventricular rate-control target, including detailed results of the Rate Control Efficacy in Permanent Atrial Fibrillation: a Comparison Between Lenient versus Strict Rate Control II (RACE II) study; and the pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic options to control the ventricular rate during AF in the setting of HF.
Yadava, Mrinal; Hughey, Andrew B; Crawford, Thomas Christopher
Atrial fibrillation is the most commonly encountered arrhythmia after cardiac surgery. Although usually self-limiting, it represents an important predictor of increased patient morbidity, mortality, and health care costs. Numerous studies have attempted to determine the underlying mechanisms of postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) with varied success. A multifactorial pathophysiology is hypothesized, with inflammation and postoperative β-adrenergic activation recognized as important contributing factors. The management of POAF is complicated by a paucity of data relating to the outcomes of different therapeutic interventions in this population. This article reviews the literature on epidemiology, mechanisms, and risk factors of POAF, with a subsequent focus on the therapeutic interventions and guidelines regarding management.
Khabchabov PhD, Rustam; Rg PhD, Khabchabov; Er PhD, Makhmudova
Resume In accordance with modern concepts, one of the leading roles in the development of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and flutter, belongs - the restructuring of the myocardium, in second place - sick sinus syndrome and in third place - the presence of accessory pathways and hormonal disorders. The development of atrial fibrillation and flutter in the structural pathology, primarily begins with of drugs if it does not work, we have to carry out ablation. Providing proper, effective and important combination therapy - is the main challenge in cardiology.
Cohoon, Kevin P; McBane, Robert D; Ammash, Naser; Slusser, Joshua P; Grill, Diane E; Wysokinski, Waldemar E
Atrial fibrillation and obesity are two major growing epidemics in the United States and globally. Obese people are at the increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. The contribution of obesity as an independent risk factor for stroke in the setting of atrial fibrillation remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) patients with increased body mass index (BMI) would be at increased risk for the development of left atrial appendage thrombus (LAAT). Consecutive, anticoagulation naïve patients with NVAF referred for a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) between January 1, 2007 and October 21, 2009 were approached for study participation. All clinical, laboratory, and TEE measurement data were collected prospectively. Within a group of 400 anticoagulation naïve NVAF patients (mean age 63 ± 15 years, 28 % women; 17 % with LAAT) the prevalence of LAAT was similar across all BMI categories (normal 13 %, overweight 19 %, obese 16 %, morbidly obese 16 %; p = 0.71). Despite a higher CHADS2 score and a higher prevalence of both hypertension and diabetes mellitus, elevated BMI was not an independent predictor of LAAT when analyzed as either a continuous variable, across BMI WHO categories, a dichotomous variable stratified at values above versus below 27 kg/m(2), or BMI stratified on atrial fibrillation duration. Despite a higher prevalence of major risk factors for thromboembolism, the prevalence of LAAT was not increased in overweight, obese, and morbidly obese patients.
Pérez-Villacastín, Julián; Pérez Castellano, Nicasio; Moreno Planas, Javier
Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Because of its potentially serious clinical consequences (heart failure, stroke, and cognitive impairment), atrial fibrillation has important socioeconomic and health implications. This article reviews the major studies on the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation in Spain. Recent data suggest that in people older than 40 years, the prevalence of atrial fibrillation may be more than 4%. Given the current Spanish demography, these data would imply that more than 1 million people in Spain have atrial fibrillation.
Goldberger, Jeffrey J.; Arora, Rishi; Green, David; Greenland, Philip; Lee, Daniel C.; Lloyd-Jones, Donald M.; Markl, Michael; Ng, Jason; Shah, Sanjiv J.
Atrial disease or myopathy forms the substrate for atrial fibrillation (AF) and underlies the potential for atrial thrombus formation and subsequent stroke. Current diagnostic approaches in patients with AF focus on identifying clinical predictors with evaluation of left atrial size by echocardiography serving as the sole measure specifically evaluating the atrium. Although the atrial substrate underlying AF is likely developing for years prior to the onset of AF, there is no current evaluation to identify the pre-clinical atrial myopathy. Atrial fibrosis is one component of the atrial substrate that has garnered recent attention based on newer MRI techniques that have been applied to visualize atrial fibrosis in humans with prognostic implications regarding success of treatment. Advanced ECG signal processing, echocardiographic techniques, and MRI imaging of fibrosis and flow provide up-to-date approaches to evaluate the atrial myopathy underlying AF. While thromboembolic risk is currently defined by clinical scores, their predictive value is mediocre. Evaluation of stasis via imaging and biomarkers associated with thrombogenesis may provide enhanced approaches to assess risk for stroke in patients with AF. Better delineation of the atrial myopathy that serves as the substrate for AF and thromboembolic complications might improve treatment outcomes. Furthermore, better delineation of the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the development of the atrial substrate for AF, particularly in its earlier stages, could help identify blood and imaging biomarkers that could be useful to assess risk for developing new onset AF and suggest specific pathways that could be targeted for prevention. PMID:26216085
Rawles, J M; Rowland, E
The belief that there is total irregularity of the pulse in atrial fibrillation has been re-examined. In a computerised analysis of R-R intervals and pulse volumes, 100-500 (mean 237) consecutive cycles were examined in 74 patients with atrial fibrillation, of whom 36 were on digoxin and 38 were not taking any antiarrhythmic treatment. A Doppler ultrasound technique was used to assess pulse volumes, against which R-R intervals were correlated. Although the sequence of consecutive R-R intervals was random in 52 (70%), patients there was a significant correlation between consecutive intervals in 22 (30%), the correlation coefficient being negative in 11 and positive in 11. In 43 (58%) cases the sequence of consecutive pulse volumes was significantly non-random; 34 (46%) showed pulsus alternans, indicated by a negative correlation between consecutive volumes. The proportion of patients with a non-random sequence of R-R intervals or pulse volumes was the same whether or not they were taking digoxin. Thus patients with atrial fibrillation often have patterns of regularity of the pulse, with the ventricular rhythm being non-random in almost one third and the sequence of pulse volumes being non-random in over a half. Contrary to classic teaching, in many patients with atrial fibrillation the pulse is not irregularly irregular. PMID:3730206
Brick, Alexandre Visconti; Braile, Domingo Marcolino
Surgical ablation, concomitant with other operations, is an option for treatment in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. The aim of this study is to present a literature review on surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, considering energy sources and return to sinus rhythm. A comprehensive survey was performed in the literature on surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation considering energy sources, sample size, study type, outcome (early and late), and return to sinus rhythm. Analyzing studies with immediate results (n=5), the percentage of return to sinus rhythm ranged from 73% to 96%, while those with long-term results (n=20) (from 12 months on) ranged from 62% to 97.7%. In both of them, there was subsequent clinical improvement of patients who underwent ablation, regardless of the energy source used. Surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation is essential for the treatment of this arrhythmia. With current technology, it may be minimally invasive, making it mandatory to perform a procedure in an attempt to revert to sinus rhythm in patients requiring heart surgery.
Brick, Alexandre Visconti; Braile, Domingo Marcolino
Surgical ablation, concomitant with other operations, is an option for treatment in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. The aim of this study is to present a literature review on surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, considering energy sources and return to sinus rhythm. A comprehensive survey was performed in the literature on surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation considering energy sources, sample size, study type, outcome (early and late), and return to sinus rhythm. Analyzing studies with immediate results (n=5), the percentage of return to sinus rhythm ranged from 73% to 96%, while those with long-term results (n=20) (from 12 months on) ranged from 62% to 97.7%. In both of them, there was subsequent clinical improvement of patients who underwent ablation, regardless of the energy source used. Surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation is essential for the treatment of this arrhythmia. With current technology, it may be minimally invasive, making it mandatory to perform a procedure in an attempt to revert to sinus rhythm in patients requiring heart surgery. PMID:26934404
Bauer, Peter A.; Polk, J. D.
This presentation will explore the clinical and administrative conundrums faced by the flight surgeon upon discovering asymptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation seven months prior to scheduled long duration spaceflight. The presenter will discuss the decision-making process as well as the clinical and operational outcomes.
Urtubia Palacios, A; Usieto López, L; Fernández Esteban, M I; Puértolas Ortega, M
Torsade de pointes is a frequent cause of sudden death of cardiac origin, with uncertain mechanisms of actions and very diverse origins. A case is presented of a patient with a bronchial condition on pharmacological treatment with macrolides, and who, as well as having atrial fibrillation, suffered an episode of self-limiting torsade de pointes that abated spontaneously with no associated clinical complications.
Calvo Romero, J M
In clinical practice, low-molecular-weight heparins are used relatively frequently in patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent embolic events. In this article, it is revised the available evidence in the following clinical situations: rapid onset of anticoagulation, bridging therapy (replacing long-term oral anticoagulant therapy around an invasive procedure) and transesophageal echocardiography-guided cardioversion.
Donahue, J Kevin
Atrial fibrillation is a prominent cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Treatment strategies center on controlling atrial rhythm or ventricular rate. The need for anticoagulation is an independent decision from the rate versus rhythm control debate. This review discusses novel biological strategies that have potential utility in the management of atrial fibrillation. Rate controlling strategies predominately rely on G-protein gene transfer to enhance cholinergic or suppress adrenergic signaling pathways in the atrioventricular node. Calcium channel blocking gene therapy and fibrosis enhancing cell therapy have also been reported. Rhythm controlling strategies focus on disrupting reentry by enhancing conduction or suppressing repolarization. Efforts to suppress inflammation and apoptosis are also under study. Resistance to blood clot formation has been shown with thrombomodulin. These strategies are in various stages of preclinical development.
Troupis, John; Crossett, Marcus; Scneider-Kolsky, Michal; Nandurkar, Dee
Accessory left atrial appendages and atrial diverticula have an incidence of 10-27%. Their association with atrial fibrillation needs to be confirmed. This study determined the prevalence, number, size, location and morphology of accessory left atrial appendages/atrial diverticula in patients with atrial fibrillation compared with those in sinus rhythm. A retrospective analysis of 47 consecutive patients with atrial fibrillation who underwent 320 multidetector Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) was performed. A random group of 47 CCTA patients with sinus rhythm formed the control group. The presence, number, size, location and morphology of accessory left atrial appendages and atrial diverticula in each group were analysed. Twenty one patients had a total of 25 accessory left atrial appendages and atrial diverticula in the atrial fibrillation group and 22 patients had a total of 24 accessory left atrial appendages and atrial diverticula in the sinus rhythm group. Twenty-one atrial diverticula were identified in 19 patients in the atrial fibrillation group and 19 atrial diverticula in 17 patients in the sinus rhythm group. The mean length and width of accessory left atrial appendage was 6.9 and 4.7 mm, respectively in the atrial fibrillation group and 12 and 4.6 mm, respectively, in the sinus rhythm group, P = ns (not significant). The mean length and width of atrial diverticulum was 4.7 and 3.6 mm, respectively in the atrial fibrillation group and 6.2 and 5 mm, respectively in the sinus rhythm group (P = ns). Eighty-four % and 96% of the accessory left atrial appendages/atrial diverticula in the atrial fibrillation and sinus rhythm groups were located along the right anterosuperior left atrial wall. Accessory left atrial appendages and atrial diverticula are common structures with similar prevalence in patients with atrial fibrillation and sinus rhythm.
Mirza, Mahek; Shen, Win-Kuang; Sofi, Aamir; Tran, Canh; Jahangir, Ahad; Sultan, Sulaiman; Khan, Uzma; Viqar, Maria; Cho, Chi; Jahangir, Arshad
Sleep apnea has been recognized as a factor predisposing to atrial fibrillation recurrence and progression. The effect of other sleep-disturbing conditions on atrial fibrillation progression is not known. We sought to determine whether frequent periodic leg movement during sleep is a risk factor for progression of atrial fibrillation. In this retrospective study, patients with atrial fibrillation and a clinical suspicion of restless legs syndrome who were referred for polysomnography were divided into two groups based on severity of periodic leg movement during sleep: frequent (periodic movement index >35/h) and infrequent (≤35/h). Progression of atrial fibrillation to persistent or permanent forms between the two groups was compared using Wilcoxon rank-sum test, chi-square tests and logistic regression analysis. Of 373 patients with atrial fibrillation (77% paroxysmal, 23% persistent), 108 (29%) progressed to persistent or permanent atrial fibrillation during follow-up (median, 33 months; interquartile range, 16-50). Compared to patients with infrequent periodic leg movement during sleep (n=168), patients with frequent periodic leg movement during sleep (n=205) had a higher rate of atrial fibrillation progression (23% vs. 34%; p=0.01). Patients with frequent periodic leg movement during sleep were older and predominantly male; however, there were no significant differences at baseline in clinical factors that promote atrial fibrillation progression between both groups. On multivariate analysis, independent predictors of atrial fibrillation progression were persistent atrial fibrillation at baseline, female gender, hypertension and frequent periodic leg movement during sleep. In patients with frequent periodic leg movement during sleep, dopaminergic therapy for control of leg movements in patients with restless legs syndrome reduced risk of atrial fibrillation progression. Frequent leg movement during sleep in patients with restless legs syndrome is associated
Hatem, Stéphane N; Redheuil, Alban; Gandjbakhch, Estelle
The amount of adipose tissue that accumulates around the atria is associated with the risk, persistence, and severity of atrial fibrillation (AF). A strong body of clinical and experimental evidence indicates that this relationship is not an epiphenomenon but is the result of complex crosstalk between the adipose tissue and the neighbouring atrial myocardium. For instance, epicardial adipose tissue is a major source of adipokines, inflammatory cytokines, or reactive oxidative species, which can contribute to the fibrotic remodelling of the atrial myocardium. Fibro-fatty infiltrations of the subepicardium could also contribute to the functional disorganization of the atrial myocardium. The observation that obesity is associated with distinct structural and functional remodelling of the atria has opened new perspectives of treating AF substrate with aggressive risk factor management. Advances in cardiac imaging should lead to an improved ability to visualize myocardial fat depositions and to localize AF substrates.
Nam, Gi-Byoung; Jin, Eun-Sun; Choi, HyungOh; Song, Hae-Geun; Kim, Sung-Hwan; Kim, Ki-Hun; Hwang, Eui-Seock; Park, Kyoung-Min; Kim, Jun; Rhee, Kyoung-Suk; Choi, Kee-Joon; Kim, You-Ho
Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation that targets complex fractionated electrogram sites has been widely applied in the management of persistent atrial fibrillation. The clinical outcomes of pulmonary vein isolation alone and pulmonary vein isolation plus the use of complex fractionated electrogram-guided ablation (CFEA) have not been fully compared in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This prospective study included 70 patients with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation that remained inducible after pulmonary vein isolation. For radio-frequency catheter ablation, patients were nonrandomly assigned to a control group (pulmonary vein isolation alone, Group 1, n=35) or a CFEA group (pulmonary vein isolation plus additional CFEA, Group 2, n=35). The times to first recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias were compared between the 2 groups. In Group 2, CFEA rendered atrial fibrillation noninducible in 16 patients (45.7%) and converted inducible atrial fibrillation into inducible atrial flutters in 12 patients (34.3%). Atrial fibrillation remained inducible in 7 patients (20%) after the combined ablation procedures. After a mean follow-up of 23 months, freedom from recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias was significantly higher in Group 2 than in Group 1 (P=0.037). In Group 1, all of the recurrent tachyarrhythmias were atrial fibrillation, whereas regular tachycardia was the major mechanism of recurrent arrhythmias in Group 2 (atrial tachycardia or atrial flutter in 5 of 6 patients and atrial fibrillation in 1 patient). We found that CFEA after pulmonary vein isolation significantly reduced recurrent atrial tachyarrhythmia and might modify the pattern of arrhythmia recurrence in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. PMID:22719147
Masè, M; Marini, M; Disertori, M; Ravelli, F
The causal relationship between atrial and ventricular activities during human atrial fibrillation (AF) is poorly understood. This study analyzed the effects of an increase in atrial rate on the link between atrial and ventricular activities during AF. Atrial and ventricular time series were determined in 14 patients during the spontaneous acceleration of the atrial rhythm at AF onset. The dynamic relationship between atrial and ventricular activities was quantified in terms of atrioventricular (AV) coupling by AV synchrogram analysis. The technique identified n:m coupling patterns (n atrial beats in m ventricular cycles), quantifying their percentage, maximal length, and conduction ratio (= m/n). Simulations with a difference-equation AV model were performed to correlate the observed dynamics to specific atrial/nodal properties. The atrial rate increase significantly affected AV coupling and ventricular response during AF. The shortening of atrial intervals from 185 ± 32 to 165 ± 24 ms (P < 0.001) determined transitions toward AV patterns with progressively decreasing m/n ratios (from conduction ratio = 0.34 ± 0.09 to 0.29 ± 0.08, P < 0.01), lower occurrence (from percentage of coupled beats = 27.1 ± 8.0 to 21.8 ± 6.9%, P < 0.05), and higher instability (from maximal length = 3.9 ± 1.5 to 2.8 ± 0.7 s, P < 0.01). Advanced levels of AV block and coupling instability at higher atrial rates were associated with increased ventricular interval variability (from 123 ± 52 to 133 ± 55 ms, P < 0.05). AV pattern transitions and coupling instability in patients were predicted, assuming the filtering of high-rate irregular atrial beats by the slow recovery of nodal excitability. These results support the role of atrial rate in determining AV coupling and ventricular response and may have implications for rate control in AF.
... Atrial Fibrillation AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS. ACTION: Request for... scientific information submissions from manufacturers of atrial fibrillation medical devices. Scientific... Fibrillation, which is currently being conducted by the Evidence-based Practice Centers for the AHRQ...
Kik, Charles; Bogers, Ad J.J.C.
Atrial fibrillation may result in significant symptoms, (systemic) thrombo-embolism, as well as tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy with cardiac failure, and consequently be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Nowadays symptomatic atrial fibrillation can be treated with catheter-based ablation, surgical ablation or hybrid approaches. In this setting a fairly large number of surgical approaches and procedures are described and being practised. It should be clear that the Cox-maze procedure resulted from building up evidence and experience in different steps, while some of the present surgical approaches and techniques are being based only on technical feasibility with limited experience, rather than on a process of consequent methodology. Some of the issues still under debate are whether or not the maze procedure can be limited to the left atrium or even to isolation of the pulmonary veins or that bi-atrial procedures are indicated, whether or not cardiopulmonary bypass is to be applied and which route of exposure facilitates an optimal result. In addition, maze procedures are not procedures guide by electrophysiological mapping. At least in theory not in all patients all lesions of the maze procedures are necessary. A history and aspects of current practise in surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation is presented.
Trigo, Paula; Fischer, Gregory W
Atrial fibrillation is the most commonly seen arrhythmia in the geriatric population and is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Treatment of the elderly with atrial fibrillation remains challenging for physicians, because this unique subpopulation is characterized by multiple comorbidities requiring chronic use of numerous medications, which can potentially lead to severe drug interactions. Furthermore, age-related changes in the cardiovascular system as well as other physiological changes result in altered drug pharmacokinetics. Dronedarone is a new drug recently approved for the treatment of arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter. Dronedarone is a benzofuran amiodarone analog which lacks the iodine moiety and contains a methane sulfonyl group that decreases its lipophilicity. These differences in chemical structure are responsible for making dronedarone less toxic than amiodarone which, in turn, results in fewer side effects. Adverse events for dronedarone include gastrointestinal side effects and rash. No dosage adjustments are required for patients with renal impairment. However, the use of dronedarone is contraindicated in the presence of severe hepatic dysfunction.
Robertson, Jason O.; Lawrance, Christopher P.; Maniar, Hersh S.; Damiano, Ralph J.
The use of surgical lesion sets for the treatment of atrial fibrillation has been increasing, particularly in patients with complicated anatomical substrates and those undergoing concomitant surgery. Preferences in terms of lesion set, surgical approach and ablation technology vary by center. This review discusses both the surgical techniques and the outcomes for the most commonly performed procedures in the context of recent consensus guidelines. The Cox-Maze IV, pulmonary vein isolation, extended left atrial lesion sets, the hybrid approach and ganglionated plexus ablation are each reviewed in an attempt to provide insight into current clinical practice and patient selection PMID:23823731
Large, Stephen R; Nashef, Samer A M
Surgery to correct a structural heart valve problem can restore sinus rhythm in approximately one-fifth of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), and the addition of a maze procedure will increase this proportion. Evidence shows that the maze procedure may restore atrial function in some patients and may have beneficial effects on functional symptoms and prognosis. The role of the maze procedure as an isolated treatment for lone AF in the context of heart failure with no structurally correctable cause is unknown. Future progress will determine the appropriate indications for treatment and the risks and benefits of any intervention.
The mechanisms underlying atrial fibrillation (AF) in humans are poorly understood. In particular, we simply do not understand how atrial AF becomes persistent or permanent. The objective of this brief review is to address the most important factors involved in the mechanism of AF perpetuation, including structural remodeling in the form of fibrosis and electrical remodeling secondary to ion channel expression changes. In addition, I discuss the possibility that both fibrosis and electrical remodeling might be preventable when intervening pharmacologically early enough before the remodeling process reaches a point of no return.
Cerasuolo, Joshua O; Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Ibañez, Agustin; Doocy, Shannon; Lip, Gregory Yh; Sposato, Luciano A
Atrial fibrillation affects 33.5 million people worldwide and its prevalence is expected to double by 2050 because of the aging population. Atrial fibrillation confers a 5-fold higher risk of ischemic stroke compared to sinus rhythm. We present our view of the role of shared medical decision-making to combat global underutilization of oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation patients. Oral anticoagulation underuse is widespread as it is present within atrial fibrillation patients of all risk strata and in countries across all income levels. Reasons for oral anticoagulation underuse include but are probably not limited to poor risk stratification, over-interpretation of contraindications, and discordance between physician prescription preferences and actual administration. By comparing a catastrophic event to the consequences of atrial fibrillation related strokes, it may help physicians and patients understand the negative outcomes associated with oral anticoagulation under-utilization and the magnitude to which oral anticoagulations neutralize atrial fibrillation burden.
Almeida, Eduardo Dytz; Guimarães, Raphael Boesche; Stephan, Laura Siga; Medeiros, Alexandre Kreling; Foltz, Katia; Santanna, Roberto Tofani; Pires, Leonardo Martins; Kruse, Marcelo Lapa; de Lima, Gustavo Glotz; Leiria, Tiago Luiz Luz
Introduction Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter account for one third of hospitalizations due to arrhythmias, determining great social and economic impacts. In Brazil, data on hospital care of these patients is scarce. Objective To investigate the arrhythmia subtype of atrial fibrillation and flutter patients in the emergency setting and compare the clinical profile, thromboembolic risk and anticoagulants use. Methods Cross-sectional retrospective study, with data collection from medical records of every patient treated for atrial fibrillation and flutter in the emergency department of Instituto de Cardiologia do Rio Grande do Sul during the first trimester of 2012. Results We included 407 patients (356 had atrial fibrillation and 51 had flutter). Patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation were in average 5 years younger than those with persistent atrial fibrillation. Compared to paroxysmal atrial fibrillation patients, those with persistent atrial fibrillation and flutter had larger atrial diameter (48.6 ± 7.2 vs. 47.2 ± 6.2 vs. 42.3 ± 6.4; p < 0.01) and lower left ventricular ejection fraction (66.8 ± 11 vs. 53.9 ± 17 vs. 57.4 ± 16; p < 0.01). The prevalence of stroke and heart failure was higher in persistent atrial fibrillation and flutter patients. Those with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and flutter had higher prevalence of CHADS2 score of zero when compared to those with persistent atrial fibrillation (27.8% vs. 18% vs. 4.9%; p < 0.01). The prevalence of anticoagulation in patients with CHA2DS2-Vasc ≤ 2 was 40%. Conclusions The population in our registry was similar in its comorbidities and demographic profile to those of North American and European registries. Despite the high thromboembolic risk, the use of anticoagulants was low, revealing difficulties for incorporating guideline recommendations. Public health strategies should be adopted in order to improve these rates. PMID:26016782
Bridge, Francesca; Thijs, Vincent
The introduction of insertable cardiac monitoring devices has dramatically altered our understanding of the role of intermittent atrial fibrillation in cryptogenic stroke. In this narrative review we discuss the incidence, timing and relationship between atrial fibrillation and cryptogenic stroke, how to select patients for monitoring and the value and limitations of different monitoring strategies. We also discuss the role of empirical anticoagulation, and atrial fibrillation burden as a means of tailoring anticoagulation in patients at high risk of bleeding. PMID:27283276
Lee, S H; Ahn, H J; Yeon, S M; Yang, M; Kim, J A; Jung, D M; Park, J H
Atrial fibrillation is the most frequent arrhythmia after thoracic surgery and is associated with increased hospital costs, morbidity and mortality. In this study, we aimed to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for postoperative atrial fibrillation following lung resection surgery and to suggest possible measures to reduce risk. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 4731 patients who underwent lobectomy or more major lung resection over a 6-year period. Patients who developed atrial fibrillation postoperatively and required treatment were included in the postoperative atrial fibrillation group, while the remaining patients were assigned to the non-postoperative atrial fibrillation group. Risk factors for postoperative atrial fibrillation were analysed by multivariate analysis and propensity score matching. Overall, 12% of patients developed postoperative atrial fibrillation. Potentially modifiable risk factors for postoperative atrial fibrillation were excessive alcohol consumption (odds ratio (OR) = 1.48, 95% CI 1.08-2.02, p = 0.0140), red cell transfusion (2.70(2.13-3.43), p < 0.0001), use of inotropes (1.81(1.42-2.31), p < 0.0001) and open (vs. thoracoscopic) surgery (1.59(1.23-2.05), p < 0.0001). Compared with inotrope use, vasopressor administration was not related to postoperative atrial fibrillation. Use of steroids or thoracic epidural anaesthesia did not reduce the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation. We conclude that high alcohol consumption, red cell transfusion, use of inotropes and open surgery are potentially modifiable risk factors for postoperative atrial fibrillation. Pre-operative alcohol consumption needs to be addressed. Avoiding red cell transfusion and performing lung resection via video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery may reduce the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation and the administration of vasopressors rather than inotropes is preferred.
Nguyen, Tuan; Jolly, Umjeet; Sidhu, Kiran; Yee, Raymond; Leong-Sit, Peter
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasing global issue leading to increased hospitalizations, adverse health related events and mortality. This review focuses on the management of atrial fibrillation, in particular in the past decade, comparing two major strategies, rate or rhythm control. We evaluate the evidence for each strategy, pharmacological options and the increasing utilization of invasive techniques, in particular catheter ablation and use of implantable cardiac pacing devices. Pharmacological comparative trials evaluating both strategies have shown rate control being non-inferior to rhythm control for clinical outcomes of mortality and other cardiovascular events (including stroke). Catheter ablation techniques, involving radiofrequency ablation and recently cryoablation, have shown promising results in particular with paroxysmal AF. However, persistent AF provides ongoing challenges and will be a particular focus of continued research.
Korantzopoulos, Panagiotis; Li, Guangping
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in clinical practice, representing a major public health problem. Recent evidence suggests oxidative stress may play an important role in the pathogenesis and perpetuation of AF. In the past few years, experimental data and clinical evidence have tested the concept of antioxidant therapies to prevent AF. Besides statins, ACE-inhibitors (ACEIs) and/or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, several other interventions with antioxidant properties, such as Vitamin C and E, thiazolidinediones, N-acetylcysteine, probucol, nitric oxide donors or precursors, NADPH oxidase inhibitors, Xanthine oxidase inhibitors have emerged as novel strategies for the management of AF. We aim to review recent evidence regarding antioxidant therapies in the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation. PMID:24282730
Briongos Figuero, Sem; García Santos-Gallego, Carlos; Badimón, Juan José
For the last decades vitamin K antagonists have been the most effective anticoagulant treatment of atrial fibrillation. New molecules are being designed, mainly due to the great amount of disadvantages in the management of conventional anticoagulation. Dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban will soon be available as an alternative to warfarin/acenocumarol. All of them have demonstrated to be non-inferior to warfarin in preventing stroke and systemic embolism, with even dabigatran 150 mg bid and apixaban being superior. They have also a lower risk of bleeding, especially regarding severe/fatal and intracranial hemorrhages. This is a real revolution. The advance of these new anticoagulants will be limited only by the higher cost, and will progressively become the protagonists of oral anticoagulation in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.
Ogata, Toshiyasu; Yasaka, Masahiro
The patients with cardioembolic stroke sometimes suffer from severe neurological deficit and from recurrent strokes. Since atrial fibrillation, especially non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) is associated with over half of the cardioembolic strokes, the prevention of cardioembolic stroke in patients with NVAF is important. There have been some reports about how to prevent stroke. They have indicated that the best medication for preventing from stroke was anticoagulation by warfarin. Therefore, the guidelines recommended the patients with NVAF to take warfarin. In case with the older patients under 70 years, prothrombin international normalized ratio (PT-INR) should be kept from 2.0 to 3.0. On the other hand, if the patients with NVAF are over 70 years, PT-INR has to be controlled from 1.6 to 2.6. Before extraction of a tooth, anticoagulation should not be call off.
Hiromoto, Atsushi; Nitta, Takashi
Since Cox-maze procedure was first reported in 1987, ablation technology has made great progress and revolutionized atrial fibrillation surgery. Various energy sources have been introduced to facilitate creating conduction block within the atria. These sources include radiofrequency, cryothermia, microwave, laser, and high-frequency focused ultrasound( HIFU). They have been utilized both endocardially in the arrested heart and epicardially in the beating heart. The goal of all these sources is to create transmural lesions which enable irreversible conduction block. They have been reported to have clinical efficacy, but each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages, and their ability of creating transmural lesions are also different. It is important for surgeons that they fully understand these differences to make appropriate use of these technologies for achieving safe atrial fibrillation surgery and developing less invasive new procedures.
Hemmer, W; Böhm, J O
The Cox-Maze procedure and less complex modifications have gained widespread use as a treatment modality for patients with concomitant atrial fibrillation. Hypothermic or hyperthermic energy sources play a significant role in rapidly creating linear lesions. Endocardial ablation is easy to perform and effective with different energy sources. Epicardial techniques may simplify the procedure by allowing surgery on a beating heart. But epicardial fat and the heat sink effect of the flowing endocardial blood are obstacles to effective ablation. New devices using bipolar (irrigated) radiofrequency, microwave or laser energy, cryoablation or focused ultrasound are in clinical or pre-clinical stages and permit lesions to be created on a beating heart without cardiopulmonary bypass. Minimally invasive or video-assisted surgical techniques and effective devices for epicardial ablation will enable the treatment of patients suffering from lone atrial fibrillation. To facilitate the comparison between different techniques and devices, guidelines for reporting clinical results are necessary.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia in people with significant morbidity and mortality. There is a strong association between atrial fibrosis and AF. Transforming growth factor B1 (TGF-B1) is an essential mediator of atrial fibrosis in animal models and human pat...
Bohnker, B K; Feeks, E F; McEwen, G
A patient is presented with new-onset atrial fibrillation. While being air-evacuated, he cardioverted during the acceleration associated with aircraft carrier catapult launch. This case suggests a possible myocardial response to the kinetic energy produced by the acceleration force, similar to the electrical energy commonly used for cardioversion. Cardioversion using acceleration forces is probably not a clinically useful modality; however, this case demonstrates the importance of acceleration forces on patients during medical evacuation from aircraft carriers.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia of substantial public health importance. Recent evidence demonstrates a heritable component underlying AF, and genetic discoveries have identified common variants associated with the arrhythmia. Ultimately one hopes that the consideration of genetic variation in clinical practice may enhance care and improve health outcomes. In this review we explore areas of potential clinical utility in AF management including those relating to pharmacogenetics and risk prediction. PMID:23210687
Joseph, Jubin; Wong, Kelvin C K; Ginks, Matthew R; Bashir, Yaver; Betts, Timothy R; Rajappan, Kim
Steerable sheaths have been shown to reduce procedure time in the catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF), where catheter positioning and stability is typically challenging. This review critically addresses and highlights the recent developments in design of sheaths used to manipulate the ablation catheter and how these developments may impact on the ablation procedure itself, in particular the likelihood of first-time success. Patents relating to steerable sheaths are reviewed and discussed to gauge potential future developments in this area.
Estrada, Amara H; Pariaut, Romain; Moïse, N Sydney
Electrical cardioversion of atrial fibrillation is now commonly performed in veterinary medicine. Successful timing of the delivery of energy is important in order to avoid ventricular fibrillation. This brief communication describes how to ensure that proper energy delivery is performed.
Sullivan, Renee M; Olshansky, Brian
Introduction: Dronedarone, a benzofuran derivative with a structure similar to amiodarone, has been developed as a potential therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation. Aim: To review the published evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of dronedarone use in patients with atrial fibrillation. Evidence review: Available evidence suggests that dronedarone 400 mg orally twice daily can lengthen the time to and decrease the overall recurrence of atrial fibrillation compared with placebo. Dronedarone may reduce risk of mortality and cardiovascular hospitalization. Patients with atrial fibrillation receiving dronedarone had improved ventricular rate control compared with patients receiving placebo. Dronedarone is associated with few serious adverse events except, notably, in patients with decompensated heart failure. Place in therapy: Dronedarone may have a role in rate and rhythm control for patients with atrial fibrillation. Dronedarone can reduce unique, but potentially serious, end points in patients with atrial fibrillation. Despite this, the exact role of dronedarone in the management of patients with atrial fibrillation continues to emerge. It remains uncertain if dronedarone should be considered a primary treatment strategy for atrial fibrillation. Dronedarone should not be administered to patients with decompensated heart failure. Conclusion: Dronedarone is a unique drug that may serve a key role to treat patients with atrial fibrillation. PMID:21042542
Arotaritei, D.; Rotariu, C.
In this paper we present a novel method to develop an atrial fibrillation (AF) based on statistical descriptors and hybrid neuro-fuzzy and crisp system. The inference of system produce rules of type if-then-else that care extracted to construct a binary decision system: normal of atrial fibrillation. We use TPR (Turning Point Ratio), SE (Shannon Entropy) and RMSSD (Root Mean Square of Successive Differences) along with a new descriptor, Teager- Kaiser energy, in order to improve the accuracy of detection. The descriptors are calculated over a sliding window that produce very large number of vectors (massive dataset) used by classifier. The length of window is a crisp descriptor meanwhile the rest of descriptors are interval-valued type. The parameters of hybrid system are adapted using Genetic Algorithm (GA) algorithm with fitness single objective target: highest values for sensibility and sensitivity. The rules are extracted and they are part of the decision system. The proposed method was tested using the Physionet MIT-BIH Atrial Fibrillation Database and the experimental results revealed a good accuracy of AF detection in terms of sensitivity and specificity (above 90%).
Filos, D; Chouvarda, I; Dakos, G; Vassilikos, V; Maglaveras, N
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a complex phenomenon, related with a multitude of factors, including the electrical properties of the atrial substrate. The purpose of this work is to present a method that highlights electrocardiographic differences between normal subjects and patients with paroxysmal AF episodes (PAF), potentially related with substrate differences. Vectorcardiography recordings are considered and, for each lead (X-Y-Z), on a beat by beat basis, a steady window before QRS, corresponding to the atrial activity, is analysed via continuous wavelet transform. Wavelet-based parameters are calculated and compared between the normal and AF group, with the beat to beat variation of wavelet energy as the most important feature showing a significantly higher variability in the AF group.
Xu, Zhen-Xing; Zhong, Jing-Quan; Zhang, Wei; Yue, Xin; Rong, Bing; Zhu, Qing; Zheng, Zhaotong; Zhang, Yun
This study aimed to assess whether intra- and inter-atrial conduction delay could predict atrial fibrillation (AF) for paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) patients after successful treatment by radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA). Echocardiography examination was performed on 524 consecutive PSVT patients (15 patients were excluded). Left atrial dimension, right atrial diameter and intra- and inter-atrial conduction delay were measured before ablation. Patients were divided into group A (n = 32): occurrence of AF after the ablation and group B (n = 477): remained in sinus rhythm during follow-up. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to estimate the predictive value of intra- and inter-atrial conduction delay. Both intra- and inter-atrial conduction delay were higher in group A than in group B (4.79 ± 0.30 msec vs. 4.56 ± 0.32 msec; 21.98 ± 1.32 msec vs. 20.01 ± 1.33; p < 0.05). Binary logistic regression analysis showed that intra- and inter-atrial conduction were significant influential factors for the occurrence of AF (odds ratio [OR] = 13.577, 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.469-48.914; OR = 2.569, 95% CI, 1.909-3.459, p < 0.05). The ROC cure analysis revealed that intra-atrial conduction delay ≥ 4.45 msec and inter-atrial conduction delay ≥ 20.65 were the most optimal cut-off value for predicting AF in PSVT patients after RFCA. In conclusion, this is the first study to show that the intra- and inter-atrial conduction delay could effectively predict AF in post-ablation PSVT patients.
Altman, Robert K.; Proietti, Riccardo; Barrett, Conor D.; Paoletti Perini, Alessandro; Santangeli, Pasquale; Danik, Stephan B.; Di Biase, Luigi
Over the past two decades, invasive techniques to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) including catheter-based and surgical procedures have evolved along with our understanding of the pathophysiology of this arrhythmia. Surgical treatment of AF may be performed on patients undergoing cardiac surgery for other reasons (concomitant surgical ablation) or as a stand-alone procedure. Advances in technology and technique have made surgical intervention for AF more widespread. Despite improvements in outcome of both catheter-based and surgical treatment for AF, recurrence of atrial arrhythmias following initial invasive therapy may occur.Atrial arrhythmias may occur early or late in the post-operative course after surgical ablation. Early arrhythmias are generally treated with prompt electrical cardioversion with or without antiarrhythmic therapy and do not necessarily represent treatment failure. The mechanism of persistent or late occurring atrial arrhythmias is complex, and these arrhythmias may be resistant to antiarrhythmic drug therapy. The characterization and management of recurrent atrial arrhythmias following surgical ablation of AF are discussed below. PMID:24516805
Pandit, Sandeep V.; Workman, Antony J.
Heart failure (HF) causes complex, chronic changes in atrial structure and function, which can cause substantial electrophysiological remodeling and predispose the individual to atrial fibrillation (AF). Pharmacological treatments for preventing AF in patients with HF are limited. Improved understanding of the atrial electrical and ionic/molecular mechanisms that promote AF in these patients could lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets. Animal models of HF have identified numerous changes in atrial ion currents, intracellular calcium handling, action potential waveform and conduction, as well as expression and signaling of associated proteins. These studies have shown that the pattern of electrophysiological remodeling likely depends on the duration of HF, the underlying cardiac pathology, and the species studied. In atrial myocytes and tissues obtained from patients with HF or left ventricular systolic dysfunction, the data on changes in ion currents and action potentials are largely equivocal, probably owing mainly to difficulties in controlling for the confounding influences of multiple variables, such as patient’s age, sex, disease history, and drug treatments, as well as the technical challenges in obtaining such data. In this review, we provide a summary and comparison of the main animal and human electrophysiological studies to date, with the aim of highlighting the consistencies in some of the remodeling patterns, as well as identifying areas of contention and gaps in the knowledge, which warrant further investigation. PMID:27812293
Matějková, Adéla; Šteiner, Ivo
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia. For long time it was considered as pure functional disorder, but in recent years, there were identified atrial locations, which are involved in the initiation and maintenance of this arrhythmia. These structural changes, so called remodelation, start at electric level and later they affect contractility and morphology. In this study we attempted to find a possible relation between morphological (scarring, amyloidosis, left atrial (LA) enlargement) and electrophysiological (ECG features) changes in patients with AF. We examined grossly and histologically 100 hearts of necropsy patients - 54 with a history of AF and 46 without AF. Premortem ECGs were evaluated. The patients with AF had significantly heavier heart, larger LA, more severely scarred myocardium of the LA and atrial septum, and more severe amyloidosis in both atria. Severity of amyloidosis was higher in LAs vs. right atria (RAs). Distribution of both fibrosis and amyloidosis was irregular. The most affected area was in the LA anterior wall. Patients with a history of AF and with most severe amyloidosis have more often abnormally long P waves. Finding of long P wave may contribute to diagnosis of a hitherto undisclosed atrial fibrillation.
Hu, Xiaoliang; Jiang, Jingzhou; Ma, Yuedong; Tang, Anli
Background Circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) is a widely used treatment for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). Several P wave duration (PWD) parameters have been suggested to predict post-ablation recurrence, but their use remains controversial. This study aimed to identify novel P wave indices that predict post-ablation AF recurrence. Material/Methods We selected 171 consecutive patients undergoing CPVI for paroxysmal AF. Electrocardiography (ECG) recordings were obtained at the beginning and the end of ablation. PWD was measured in all 12 leads. The PWD variation was calculated by subtracting the pre-ablation PWD from the post-ablation PWD. Results PWD was significantly shortened in leads II, III, aVF, and V1 after ablation. During a mean follow-up of 19.96±4.32 months, AF recurrence occurred in 32 (18.7%) patients. No significant differences in baseline characteristics or pre- or post-ablation PWD were observed between the AF recurrence and non-recurrence groups. Patients with AF recurrence exhibited a smaller PWD variation in leads II (1.21(−0.56, 2.40) vs. −5.77(−9.10, −4.06) ms, P<0.001), III (−5.92(−9.87, 3.27) vs. −9.44(−11.89, −5.57) ms, P=0.001) and V1 (−4.43(−6.64, −3.13) vs. −6.33(−8.19,−4.59) ms, P=0.003). Multivariable logistic regression analysis demonstrated that smaller PWD variations in lead II and III were independent risk factors for AF recurrence. PWD variation ≥−2.21 ms in lead II displayed the highest combined sensitivity and specificity (85.29% and 83.94%, respectively) for predicting post-ablation AF recurrence. A PWD variation ≥0 ms displayed the best practical value in predicting AF recurrence. Conclusions PWD variation in lead II is an effective predictor of post-ablation AF recurrence. PMID:27450644
Lubitz, Steven A.; Yin, Xiaoyan; Fontes, João D.; Magnani, Jared W.; Rienstra, Michiel; Pai, Manju; Villalon, Mark L.; Vasan, Ramachandran S.; Pencina, Michael J.; Levy, Daniel; Larson, Martin G.; Ellinor, Patrick T.; Benjamin, Emelia J.
Context Although the heritability of atrial fibrillation (AF) is established, the contribution of familial AF to predicting new-onset AF remains unknown. Objective To determine whether familial occurrence of AF is associated with new-onset AF beyond established risk factors. Design, Setting, and Participants The Framingham Heart Study, a prospective population-based cohort study started in 1948. Original and Offspring Cohort participants were age at least 30 years, free of AF at the baseline examination, and had at least one parent or sibling enrolled in the study. Main outcome measures The incremental predictive value of incorporating different features of familial AF (any familial AF, premature familial AF [onset ≤65 years], number of affected relatives, and youngest age of onset in a relative) into a risk model for new-onset AF. Results Of 4421 participants (11971 person-examinations, mean age 54±13 years, 54% women), 440 developed AF during follow-up. Familial AF occurred in 1185 participants (26.8%) and premature familial AF occurred in 351 (7.9%) participants. AF occurred more frequently among participants with familial AF than without familial AF (unadjusted absolute event rates of 5.8% and 3.1%, respectively). The association was not attenuated by adjustment for AF risk factors (multivariable-adjusted HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.13–1.74) or reported AF-related genetic variants. Among the different features of familial AF examined, premature familial AF was associated with improved discrimination beyond traditional risk factors to the greatest extent (c-statistic 0.842; 95% CI, 0.826–0.858 to 0.846; 95%CI, 0.831–0.862; P=.004). Modest changes in integrated discrimination improvement were observed with premature familial AF (2.1%). Net reclassification improvement (assessed using eight-year risk thresholds of <5%, 5–10%, >10%) did not change significantly with premature familial AF (0.011; 95% CI, −0.021–0.042; P=.51), although category-less net
Kohno, Hiroki; Ueda, Hideki; Matsuura, Kaoru; Tamura, Yusaku; Watanabe, Michiko; Matsumiya, Goro
Background Atrial fibrillation is a common complication after cardiac surgery, but the risk factors and long-term outcome after primary isolated aortic valve replacement remains to be clarified. Methods A single-center retrospective study was conducted on 157 patients who underwent first-time isolated aortic valve replacement between April 1999 and February 2015. Fifty-eight patients developed new-onset atrial fibrillation within 6 months postoperatively, and they were compared with patients who remained in sinus rhythm. Multivariate analyses, which incorporated the propensity score patient matching technique, were conducted to evaluate the long-term outcome of new-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation and identify patients at risk of developing this arrhythmia. Results At a mean follow-up of 52.4 months (range 8.4-200.7 months), mortality was significantly higher in patients who developed atrial fibrillation compared to those who remained in sinus rhythm (2.8%/patient-year vs. 0.2%/patient-year, respectively; p < 0.05). Patients developing atrial fibrillation were also at an independently increased risk of stroke and readmission during follow-up. Risk analysis revealed that advanced age (>70 years) and absence of a postoperative β-blocker were predictors of atrial fibrillation. Conclusions New-onset atrial fibrillation after first-time isolated aortic valve replacement correlated significantly with late morbidity and mortality. Advanced age and absence of a postoperative β-blocker may increase the incidence of atrial fibrillation.
Lee, Hsiu-Hao; Chen, Yueh-Chung; Chen, Jien-Jiun; Lo, Shih-Hsiang; Guo, Yue-Liang; Hu, Hsiao-Yun
Background Although advancements in the treatment of atrial fibrillation have improved patient prognosis for this persistent condition, interest in atrial fibrillation development is growing. Of note is the fact that additional attention is being focused on the accompanying effect of insomnia. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of insomnia on the risk of atrial fibrillation development. Methods This was a nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study using data from the Taiwan National health Insurance Research Database. We analyzed 64,421 insomnia cases and 128,842 matched controls without insomnia from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2010. A Cox regression model was used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for atrial fibrillation development. Results During the follow-up period, the incidence of atrial fibrillation development was significantly higher in the insomnia cases than in the comparison cohort (2.6% vs. 2.3%, p < 0.001). Insomnia was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation (HR = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.01-1.14). Males, those > 65 years of age, and patients with peripheral artery disease who have insomnia had a higher rate of atrial fibrillation development. Conclusions The findings of this nationwide analysis support the hypothesis that insomnia is associated with a significant risk of atrial fibrillation development. PMID:28344420
Mont, Lluís; Elosua, Roberto; Brugada, Josep
Although the benefits of regular exercise in controlling cardiovascular risk factors have been extensively proven, little is known about the long-term cardiovascular effects of regular and extreme endurance sport practice, such as jogging, cycling, rowing, swimming, etc. Recent data from a small series suggest a relationship between regular, long-term endurance sport practice and atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter. Reported case control studies included less than 300 athletes, with mean age between 40 and 50. Most series recruited only male patients, or more than 70% males, who had been involved in intense training for many years. Endurance sport practice increases between 2 and 10 times the probability of suffering AF, after adjusting for other risk factors. The possible mechanisms explaining the association remain speculative. Atrial ectopic beats, inflammatory changes, and atrial size have been suggested. Some of the published studies found that atrial size was larger in athletes than in controls, and this was a predictor for AF. It has also been shown that the left atrium may be enlarged in as many as 20% of competitive athletes. Other proposed mechanisms are increased vagal tone and bradycardia, affecting the atrial refractory period; however, this may facilitate rather than cause the arrhythmia. In summary, recent data suggest an association between endurance sport practice and atrial fibrillation and flutter. The underlying mechanism explaining this association is unclear, although structural atrial changes (dilatation and fibrosis) are probably present. Larger longitudinal studies and mechanistic studies are needed to further characterize the association to clarify whether a threshold limit for the intensity and duration of physical activity may prevent AF, without limiting the cardiovascular benefits of exercise.
Tamargo Menéndez, Juan
Atrial fibrillation starts in the left atrium and from there the activity invades the atrial tissues and causes an inhomogeneous shortening the duration of atrial action potential duration and refractoriness. The purpose of this study was to compare the voltage-dependent potassium currents in human cells isolated from the right and left atria and to determine whether electrical remodeling produced by chronic atrial fibrillation (CAF) differentially affects voltage-dependent potassium currents involved in atrial repolarization in each atrium as compared to sinus rhythm (SR). The currents were recorded using the whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique. We found that in atrial cardiomyocytes of patients both in SR and in CAF there are three types of cells according to their main voltage-dependent repolarizing potassium current: the Ca(2+)-independent 4-aminopyridine sensitive component of the transient outward current (I(to1)) and the ultrarapid (I(Kur)), rapid (I(Kr)) and slow (I(Ks)) components of the delayed rectifier current. CAF differentially modified the proportion of these 3 types of cells on each atrium: CAF reduced the I(to1) more markedly in the left than in the right atria, while I(Kur) was more markedly reduced in the right than in the left atria. Interestingly, in both atria, CAF markedly increased the I(Ks). This increase was enhanced by isoproterenol and suppressed by atenolol. These changes produce a non-uniform shortening of atrial repolarization that facilitates the reentry of the cardiac impulse and the perpetuation of the arrhythmia.
Käräjämäki, Aki Juhani; Kettunen, Olli; Lepojärvi, Samuli; Koivurova, Olli-Pekka; Kesäniemi, Y. Antero; Huikuri, Heikki; Ukkola, Olavi
Background Chronic liver injury from different etiologies drives liver fibrosis. However, little is known about the associated factors, systemic factors in particular. Recently, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and atrial fibrillation have been shown to be associated with each other. Thereby, we aimed to study the association between atrial fibrillation and liver stiffness. Study Extensive clinical measurements including echocardiography of the heart, transient elastography (TE) of the liver and the presence of atrial fibrillation were determined in elderly Finnish study subjects (n = 76, mean age 73 years) from OPERA (Oulu Project Elucidating the Risk of Atherosclerosis) study cohort. Half of the study subjects had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, whereas others did not have any known hepatic morbidity. The present study was cross-sectional by nature. Results The subjects with atrial fibrillation had higher TE values (with atrial fibrillation TE = 9.3kPa, without atrial fibrillation TE = 6.3kPa, p = 0.018). When the cohort was divided to four subgroups (those without NAFLD or atrial fibrillation, with NAFLD but without atrial fibrillation, with both conditions, and with atrial fibrillation but without NAFLD), the TE value was the highest in the subjects with both conditions (5.3kPa, 7.4kPa, 10.8kPa and 7.8kPa, respectively, p = 0.019). Moreover, the higher the TE value, the more prevalent atrial fibrillation was (the atrial fibrillation prevalence by tertiles of TE 27% / 36% / 77%, p = 0.001). Likewise, the greater the TE value, the greater the left atrial diameter, a collateral of atrial fibrillation (left atrial diameters by tertiles of TE 39mm / 45mm / 48mm, p<0.001) was. All these p-values for continuous variables remained statistically significant even after adjustment for common clinically relevant risk factors. Conclusions There is an association between atrial fibrillation and liver stiffness. This novel association may have multiple
Ellinor, Patrick T; Lunetta, Kathryn L; Albert, Christine M; Glazer, Nicole L; Ritchie, Marylyn D; Smith, Albert V; Arking, Dan E; Müller-Nurasyid, Martina; Krijthe, Bouwe P; Lubitz, Steven A; Bis, Joshua C; Chung, Mina K; Dörr, Marcus; Ozaki, Kouichi; Roberts, Jason D; Smith, J Gustav; Pfeufer, Arne; Sinner, Moritz F; Lohman, Kurt; Ding, Jingzhong; Smith, Nicholas L; Smith, Jonathan D; Rienstra, Michiel; Rice, Kenneth M; Van Wagoner, David R; Magnani, Jared W; Wakili, Reza; Clauss, Sebastian; Rotter, Jerome I; Steinbeck, Gerhard; Launer, Lenore J; Davies, Robert W; Borkovich, Matthew; Harris, Tamara B; Lin, Honghuang; Völker, Uwe; Völzke, Henry; Milan, David J; Hofman, Albert; Boerwinkle, Eric; Chen, Lin Y; Soliman, Elsayed Z; Voight, Benjamin F; Li, Guo; Chakravarti, Aravinda; Kubo, Michiaki; Tedrow, Usha B; Rose, Lynda M; Ridker, Paul M; Conen, David; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko; Furukawa, Tetsushi; Sotoodehnia, Nona; Xu, Siyan; Kamatani, Naoyuki; Levy, Daniel; Nakamura, Yusuke; Parvez, Babar; Mahida, Saagar; Furie, Karen L; Rosand, Jonathan; Muhammad, Raafia; Psaty, Bruce M; Meitinger, Thomas; Perz, Siegfried; Wichmann, H-Erich; Witteman, Jacqueline C M; Kao, W H Linda; Kathiresan, Sekar; Roden, Dan M; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Rivadeneira, Fernando; McKnight, Barbara; Sjögren, Marketa; Newman, Anne B; Liu, Yongmei; Gollob, Michael H; Melander, Olle; Tanaka, Toshihiro; Ch Stricker, Bruno H; Felix, Stephan B; Alonso, Alvaro; Darbar, Dawood; Barnard, John; Chasman, Daniel I; Heckbert, Susan R; Benjamin, Emelia J; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Kääb, Stefan
Atrial fibrillation is a highly prevalent arrhythmia and a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure and death1. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry, including 6,707 with and 52,426 without atrial fibrillation. Six new atrial fibrillation susceptibility loci were identified and replicated in an additional sample of individuals of European ancestry, including 5,381 subjects with and 1 0,030 subjects without atrial fibrillation (P < 5 × 10−8). Four of the loci identified in Europeans were further replicated in silico in a GWAS of Japanese individuals, including 843 individuals with and 3,350 individuals without atrial fibrillation. The identified loci implicate candidate genes that encode transcription factors related to cardiopulmonary development, cardiac-expressed ion channels and cell signaling molecules. PMID:22544366
Myrstad, Marius; Nystad, Wenche; Graff-Iversen, Sidsel; Thelle, Dag S; Stigum, Hein; Aarønæs, Marit; Ranhoff, Anette H
Emerging evidence suggests that endurance exercise increases the risk for atrial fibrillation (AF) in men, but few studies have investigated the dose-response relation between exercise and risk for atrial arrhythmias. Both exposure to exercise and reference points vary among studies, and previous studies have not differentiated between AF and atrial flutter. The aim of this study was to assess the risk for atrial arrhythmias by cumulative years of regular endurance exercise in men. To cover the range from physical inactivity to long-term endurance exercise, the study sample in this retrospective cohort study was based on 2 distinct cohorts: male participants in a long-distance cross-country ski race and men from the general population, in total 3,545 men aged ≥ 53 years. Arrhythmia diagnoses were validated by electrocardiograms during review of medical records. Regular endurance exercise was self-reported by questionnaire. A broad range of confounding factors was available for adjustment. The adjusted odds ratios per 10 years of regular endurance exercise were 1.16 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.29) for AF and 1.42 (95% confidence interval 1.20 to 1.69) for atrial flutter. In stratified analyses, the associations were significant in cross-country skiers and in men from the general population. In conclusion, cumulative years of regular endurance exercise were associated with a gradually increased risk for AF and atrial flutter.
Ogunsua, Adedotun A; Shaikh, Amir Y; Ahmed, Mohamed; McManus, David D
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly prevalent condition and the most common sustained arrhythmia encountered in ambulatory and hospital practice. Several clinical risk factors for AF include age, sex, valvular heart disease, obesity, sleep apnea, heart failure, and hypertension (HTN). Of all the risk factors, HTN is the most commonly encountered condition in patients with incident AF. Hypertension is associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the risk of developing new-onset AF and a 1.5-fold increase in the risk of progression to permanent AF. Hypertension predisposes to cardiac structural changes that influence the development of AF such as atrial remodeling. The renin angiotensin aldosterone system has been demonstrated to be a common mechanistic link in the pathogenesis of HTN and AF. Importantly, HTN is one of the few modifiable AF risk factors, and guideline-directed management of HTN may reduce the incidence of AF.
Frontera, Antonio; Wilson, D G; Sekhon, H; Duncan, E R; Thomas, G
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the most common genetic cardiac conditions. Atrial fibrillation (AF) has been demonstrated to be the most frequent arrhythmia encountered in HCM patients. Research focusing on AF and embolic stroke in HCM patients has been sparse and the sample size of most studies is small. The prognostic significance of AF in HCM patients is still not well known. The aim of this article is to provide further understanding of the anti-coagulation requirement of HCM patients with AF.
Raphael, Claire E.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia seen in clinical practice with prevalence in excess of 33 million worldwide. Although often asymptomatic and until recently considered a “benign” arrhythmia, it is now appreciated that thromboembolism resulting from AF results in significant morbidity and mortality predominantly due to stroke. Although an arrhythmia more commonly affecting the elderly, AF can also occur in the young. This review focuses on the impact of AF in the younger population and discusses the dilemmas of managing younger patients with AF. PMID:25922764
Weiss, James N; Qu, Zhilin; Shivkumar, Kalyanam
Although considerable progress has been made in developing ablation approaches to cure atrial fibrillation (AF), outcomes are still suboptimal, especially for persistent and long-lasting persistent AF. In this topical review, we review the arrhythmia mechanisms, both reentrant and nonreentrant, that are potentially relevant to human AF at various stages/settings. We describe arrhythmia mapping techniques used to distinguish between the different mechanisms, with a particular focus on the detection of rotors. We discuss which arrhythmia mechanisms are likely to respond to ablation, and the challenges and prospects for improving upon current ablation strategies to achieve better outcomes.
Voukalis, Christos; Lip, Gregory Y H; Shantsila, Eduard
Ischaemic strokes resulting from atrial fibrillation (AF) constitute a devastating condition for patients and their carers with huge burden on health care systems. Prophylactic treatment against systemic embolization and ischaemic strokes is the cornerstone for the management of AF. Effective stroke prevention requires the use of the vitamin K antagonists or non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs). This article summarises the latest developments in the field of stroke prevention in AF and aims to assist physicians with the choice of oral anticoagulant for patients with non-valvular AF with different risk factor profile.
Yang, Felix; Chou, Denise; Schweitzer, Paul; Hanon, Sam
Warfarin is commonly used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation; however, patients on haemodialysis may not derive the same benefit from warfarin as the general population. There are no randomized controlled studies in dialysis patients which demonstrate the efficacy of warfarin in preventing stroke. In fact, warfarin places the dialysis patient at increased risk for haemorrhagic stroke and possibly ischaemic stroke. Additionally, warfarin increases the risk of major bleeding and has been associated with vascular calcification. Routine use of warfarin in dialysis for stroke prevention should be discouraged, and therapy should only be reserved for dialysis patients at high risk for thrombo-embolic stroke and carefully monitored if implemented.
da Silva, Ananília Medeiros Gomes; de Araújo, Jéssica Nayara Góes; de Freitas, Renata Caroline Costa
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common supraventricular arrhythmia in the population. MicroRNAs (small endogenous noncoding RNAs) are attractive candidates as biomarkers for AF, especially considering that miRNAs are stable and are detected within easily accessible biofluids such as blood. In this review, we selected twelve studies (2012 to 2016) that were classified according to the sample type. We aimed to provide an overview of the role of circulating miRNAs in AF and to discuss the variability of the results, seeking to improve the perspective of the use of miRNAs as potential noninvasive biomarkers for this heart disease. PMID:28349066
Voukalis, Christos; Lip, Gregory Y.H.; Shantsila, Eduard
Ischaemic strokes resulting from atrial fibrillation (AF) constitute a devastating condition for patients and their carers with huge burden on health care systems. Prophylactic treatment against systemic embolization and ischaemic strokes is the cornerstone for the management of AF. Effective stroke prevention requires the use of the vitamin K antagonists or non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs). This article summarises the latest developments in the field of stroke prevention in AF and aims to assist physicians with the choice of oral anticoagulant for patients with non-valvular AF with different risk factor profile. PMID:26981569
Expósito, Víctor; Seras, Miguel; Fernández-Fresnedo, Gema
Atrial fibrillation is a common finding in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which increases markedly the embolism risk. The CHADS2 and HAS-BLED scales, used in the general population to assess the risk/benefit of oral anticoagulation (OAC), underestimate respectively the risk of embolism and haemorrhage in CKD, making it difficult to decide whether to use OAC or not. Based on the available evidence, it seems indicated to use OAC in stage 3 CKD, while it is controversial in advanced stages. New OAC such as dabigatran and rivaroxaban have been approved in stage 3 CKD but their role is still somewhat uncertain.
Heck, Patrick M; Lee, Justin M S; Kistler, Peter M
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important and often-underrecognized cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It is an arrhythmia that is commonly seen in the older patient; the median age of patients with AF in early studies was 75 years. Heart failure (HF) is also more frequently seen in the older patient with an approximate doubling of HF prevalence with each decade of life. There is clear interaction between AF and HF, with evidence that HF can lead to AF and AF exacerbates HF. This review focuses on the specific aspect of AF management in elderly patients with HF.
Gomes da Silva, Ananília Medeiros; Silbiger, Vivian Nogueira
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a highly prevalent arrhythmia with pronounced morbidity and mortality. Genetics analysis has established electrophysiological substrates, which determine individual vulnerability to AF occurrence and maintenance. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) found in virtually all organisms function as negative regulators of protein-coding genes. Several studies have suggested a role for miRNAs in the regulation of cardiac excitability and arrhythmogenesis. This review is based on 18 studies conducted between 2009 and 2013 to investigate the association of miRNAs with AF. miRNAs are discussed here as candidate biomarkers for AF in blood and cardiac tissues and as potential targets for AF therapy.
Melby, Spencer J; Schuessler, Richard B; Damiano, Ralph J
The Cox maze procedure for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation has been simplified from its original cut-and-sew technique. Various energy sources now exist which create linear lines of ablation that can be used to replace the original incisions, greatly facilitating the surgical approach. This review article describes the anatomy of the atria that must be considered in choosing a successful energy source. Furthermore the device characteristics, safety profile, mechanism of tissue injury, and ability to create transmural lesions of the various energy sources that have been used in the Cox maze procedure, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each device is discussed.
Uslar, Thomas; Anabalón, Jaime
For most atrial fibrillation patients oral anticoagulation constitutes the standard treatment to prevent stroke. However, they carry a risk of bleeding, which is why alternative treatments have been put into practice, such as percutaneous closure of the left atrial appendage. It is not clear whether this is as effective as the conventional treatment with anticoagulants. Searching in Epistemonikos database, which is maintained by screening 30 databases, we identified three systematic reviews including only one pertinent randomized controlled trial. We combined the evidence and generated a summary of findings following the GRADE approach. We concluded that percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion may decrease stroke and mortality, but the certainty of the evidence is low. The effect on other outcomes is not clear because the certainty of the evidence is very low.
Opacic, Dragan; van Bragt, Kelly A; Nasrallah, Hussein M; Schotten, Ulrich; Verheule, Sander
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common tachyarrhythmia in clinical practice. Over decades of research, a vast amount of knowledge has been gathered about the causes and consequences of AF related to cellular electrophysiology and features of the tissue structure that influence the propagation of fibrillation waves. Far less is known about the role of myocyte metabolism and tissue perfusion in the pathogenesis of AF. However, the rapid rates of electrical activity and contraction during AF must present an enormous challenge to the energy balance of atrial myocytes. This challenge can be met by scaling back energy demand and by increasing energy supply, and there are several indications that both phenomena occur as a result of AF. Still, there is ample evidence that these adaptations fall short of redressing this imbalance, which may represent a driving force for atrial electrical as well as structural remodelling. In addition, several 'metabolic diseases' such as diabetes, obesity, and abnormal thyroid function precipitate some well-known 'culprits' of the AF substrate such as myocyte hypertrophy and fibrosis, while some other AF risk factors, such as heart failure, affect atrial metabolism. This review provides an overview of metabolic and vascular alterations in AF and their involvement in its pathogenesis.
Elikowski, Waldemar; Wróblewski, Dariusz; Małek-Elikowska, Małgorzata; Mazurek, Andrzej; Foremska-Iciek, Joanna; Łazowski, Stanisław
Atrial fibrillation and heart failure are factors predisposing to locally formed intracardiac thrombosis, which is usually localized in left-sided chambers. A case report. The authors present a case of a 50-year-old male with permanent atrial fibrillation and dilated cardiomyopathy in whom recurrent right atrial thrombus was observed. Initially, the lesion was detected in echocardiography while he was hospitalized due to extensive right-sided pneumonia. The thrombus was successfully treated with heparin, followed by warfarin. Even though the patient continued warfarin use properly, there was recurrence of the thrombus two years later during a new episode of heart failure exacerbation. Because the thrombus was resistant to intensified anticoagulation, cardiac surgery was needed. A large (30 x 25 mm) pedunculated thrombus, as well as two smaller ones (each of 10 x 10 mm) attached closely to the atrial wall and previously not detected either by echocardiography or by magnetic resonance imaging, were excited. A partially organized pattern of the thrombi in histological examination can explain lack of anticoagulation effectiveness.
Safaie, Naser; Maghamipour, Nasrollah; Jodati, Ahmad Reza; Mahmoodpoor, Ata; Dashtaki, Leila; Hakimzadeh, Masoud
Patients with valvular heart disease suffer from atrial fibrillation for more than 12 months after valve surgery and have a low probability of remaining in sinus rhythm. We performed an intra-operative procedure similar to surgical maze ІІІ procedure for conversion of this arrhythmia to sinus rhythm. We did this study to evaluate the efficacy of this procedure to restore the sinus rhythm in patients with valvular heart disease. 28 patients with valvular heart disease and chronic persistent atrial fibrillation underwent different combinations of valve surgery and concomitant reduction of left and right atrial size and resection of both atrial auricles in Shahid Madani cardiothoracic center from September 2004 to October 2008. The procedure for atrial fibrillation treatment was performed with cardiopulmonary bypass and after mitral valve replacement. There was one in-hospital death postoperatively because of respiratory failure, but no other complication till 6 months after the operation. Out of 28 patients, 23 were in sinus rhythm one week after the operation, one patient had junctional rhythm after the operation that restored to sinus rhythm and 4 patients had persistent atrial fibrillation. During the 12-month follow up, atrial fibrillation was corrected in 82.14%. Doppler echocardiography in these patients with sinus rhythm demonstrated good atrial contractility. This procedure on both atria is effective and less invasive than the original maze procedure to eliminate the atrial fibrillation, and can be performed in patients with valvular heart disease without increasing the risk of operation.
Yujing, Wang; Congxin, Huang; Shaning, Yang; Lijun, Jin; Xiaojun, Hu; Gang, Wu; Qiang, Xie
This study was designed to investigate whether administration of digitalis could improve mechanical function of left atrial appendage (LAA) and left atrium prospectively in patients with atrial stunning. Fifty-four consecutive patients in whom atrial stunning was observed immediately after cardioversion of chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) were randomized into digitalis or control group for 1 week following cardioversion. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) were performed prior to, immediately following, 1 day after and 1 week after cardioversion to measure transmitral flow velocity and LAA flow velocity. Electrical cardioversion of AF elicited significantly slower left atrial appendage peak emptying velocity (LAA-PEV) and peak filling velocity (LAA-PFV) immediately following cardioversion in both groups. 1 day post cardioversion, there were no significant differences in transmitral E wave, A wave, E/A ratio, LAA-PEV, LAA-PFV or left atrial appendage ejection fraction (LAA-EF) between digitalis and control groups. 1 week post cardioversion, no significant differences were found in transmitral E wave, A wave, E/A ratio, LAA-PEV, LAA-PFV or LAA-EF between the two groups. The occurrence rates of spontaneous echo contrast were not significantly different between digitalis and control groups one day and one week post cardioversion. In conclusion, digitalis did not improve left atrial and appendage mechanical dysfunction following cardioversion of chronic AF. Digitalis did not prevent the development of spontaneous echo contrast in left atrial chamber and appendage. This may be due to the fact that digitalis aggravates intracellular calcium overload induced by chronic AF and has a negative effect on ventricular rate.
Heijman, Jordi; Erfanian Abdoust, Pegah; Voigt, Niels; Nattel, Stanley; Dobrev, Dobromir
The complexity of the heart makes an intuitive understanding of the relative contribution of ion channels, transporters and signalling pathways to cardiac electrophysiology challenging. Computational modelling of cardiac cellular electrophysiology has proven useful to integrate experimental findings, extrapolate results obtained in expression systems or animal models to other systems, test quantitatively ideas based on experimental data and provide novel hypotheses that are experimentally testable. While the bulk of computational modelling has traditionally been directed towards ventricular bioelectricity, increasing recognition of the clinical importance of atrial arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, has led to widespread efforts to apply computational approaches to understanding atrial electrical function. The increasing availability of detailed, atrial-specific experimental data has stimulated the development of novel computational models of atrial-cellular electrophysiology and Ca(2+) handling. To date, more than 300 studies have employed mathematical simulations to enhance our understanding of atrial electrophysiology, arrhythmogenesis and therapeutic responses. Future modelling studies are likely to move beyond current whole-cell models by incorporating new data on subcellular architecture, macromolecular protein complexes, and localized ion-channel regulation by signalling pathways. At the same time, more integrative multicellular models that take into account regional electrophysiological and Ca(2+) handling properties, mechano-electrical feedback and/or autonomic regulation will be needed to investigate the mechanisms governing atrial arrhythmias. A combined experimental and computational approach is expected to provide the more comprehensive understanding of atrial arrhythmogenesis that is required to develop improved diagnostic and therapeutic options. Here, we review this rapidly expanding area, with a particular focus on Ca(2+) handling, and
Berntsson, John; Smith, J Gustav; Nilsson, Peter M; Hedblad, Bo; Melander, Olle; Engström, Gunnar
Background The increasing prevalence of atrial fibrillation and novel therapeutic tools to prevent cardioembolic stroke has increased the need for risk markers. Objectives This study explored the relationship between the midregional sequence of pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) levels with the risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke, and whether measurement of MR-proANP improves the prediction of these outcomes. Methods MR-proANP was measured in fasting blood samples of 5130 subjects (69% men, mean age 69.2 ± 6.2 years) without a history of atrial fibrillation or stroke from the general population. The incidence of atrial fibrillation and stroke was monitored over a median follow-up of 5.6 years. C-statistics and net reclassification improvement was used to assess the predictive ability of MR-proANP in addition to conventional risk factors. Results Log-normalized MR-proANP was significantly associated with the incidence of atrial fibrillation ( n = 362; hazard ratio (HR); 95% confidence interval (CI) per 1 standard deviation (SD) 2.05, 1.86-2.27) and stroke from all causes ( n = 195; HR 1.30; 95% CI 1.12-1.50). The HR for stroke events related to atrial fibrillation was 1.79 (95% CI 1.25-2.58) per 1 SD. MR-proANP significantly improved the prediction of atrial fibrillation when added to a risk score of conventional risk factors (C statistic 0.69 vs. 0.75), mainly by down-classifying subjects who did not develop atrial fibrillation. A smaller improvement in predictive ability was observed for stroke (C statistic 0.66 vs. 0.68). Conclusion High plasma levels of MR-proANP are associated with the incidence of atrial fibrillation and stroke in the middle-aged and elderly population. MR-proANP may be useful to identify individuals with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.
Gialdini, Gino; Nearing, Katherine; Bhave, Prashant D.; Bonuccelli, Ubaldo; Iadecola, Costantino; Healey, Jeff S.; Kamel, Hooman
IMPORTANCE Clinically apparent atrial fibrillation increases the risk of ischemic stroke. In contrast, perioperative atrial fibrillation may be viewed as a transient response to physiological stress, and the long-term risk of stroke after perioperative atrial fibrillation is unclear. OBJECTIVE To examine the association between perioperative atrial fibrillation and the long-term risk of stroke. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Retrospective cohort study using administrative claims data on patients hospitalized for surgery (as defined by surgical diagnosis related group codes), and discharged alive and free of documented cerebrovascular disease or preexisting atrial fibrillation from nonfederal California acute care hospitals between 2007 and 2011. Patients undergoing cardiac vs other types of surgery were analyzed separately. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Previously validated diagnosis codes were used to identify ischemic strokes after discharge from the index hospitalization for surgery. The primary predictor variable was atrial fibrillation newly diagnosed during the index hospitalization, as defined by previously validated present-on-admission codes. Patients were censored at postdischarge emergency department encounters or hospitalizations with a recorded diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. RESULTS Of 1 729 360 eligible patients, 24 711 (1.43%; 95% CI, 1.41%–1.45%) had new-onset perioperative atrial fibrillation during the index hospitalization and 13 952 (0.81%; 95% CI, 0.79%–0.82%) experienced a stroke after discharge. In a Cox proportional hazards analysis accounting for potential confounders, perioperative atrial fibrillation was associated with subsequent stroke both after noncardiac and cardiac surgery. Type of SurgeryCumulative Rate of Stroke 1 Year AfterHospitalization, % (95% CI)Hazard Ratio (95% CI)PerioperativeAtrial FibrillationNo PerioperativeAtrial FibrillationNoncardiac1.47 (1.24–1.75)0.36 (0.35–0.37)2.0 (1.7–2.3)Cardiac0.99 (0.81–1
Lawrance, Christopher P.; Henn, Matthew C.; Damiano, Ralph J.
Purpose of review The aim of this review is to focus specifically on the indications, evolution of technique, and results of surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation. Recent findings With the introduction of the Cox-Maze IV procedure utilizing bipolar radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation, long-term studies have demonstrated a significant decrease in aortic cross-clamp times and major complications with a comparable rate of restoration of sinus rhythm. New hybrid approaches utilizing both catheter-based ablation and minimally invasive surgical approaches have been developed, but have not been standardized. Early studies have demonstrated reasonable success rates of hybrid procedures, with advantages that include confirmation of conduction block, decreased surgical morbidity, and possibly reduced morbidity. However, hybrid approaches have the disadvantage of significantly increased operative times. Summary The Cox-Maze IV is currently the gold standard for surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation. New hybrid approaches have potential advantages with promising early results, but a standard lesion set, improvement in operative times, and long-term results still need to be evaluated. PMID:25389650
Peshko, Igor; Rubtsov, Vladimir; Vesselov, Leonid; Sigal, Gennady; Laks, Hillel
A fiber photo-catheter has been developed for surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation with laser radiation. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart rhythm abnormality that involves irregular and rapid heartbeats. Recent studies demonstrate the superiority of treating AF disease with optical radiation of the near infrared region. To produce long continuous transmural lesions, solid-state lasers and laser diodes, along with end-emitting fiber catheters, have been used experimentally. The absence of side-emitting flexible catheters with the ability to produce long continuous lesions limits the further development of this technology. In this research, a prototype of an optical catheter, consisting of a flexible 10-cm fiber diffuser has been used to make continuous photocoagulation lesions for effective maze procedure treatments. The system also includes: a flexible optical reflector; a series of openings for rapid self-attachment to the tissue; and an optional closed-loop irrigating chamber with circulating saline to cool the optical diffuser and irrigate the tissue. PMID:19587838
Poposka, Lidija; Boskov, Vladimir; Risteski, Dejan; Taleski, Jane; Georgievska-Ismail, Ljubica
INTRODUCTION: In patients with an implanted pacemaker, asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased risk of thrombo-embolic complications. There is still no consensus which duration of episodes of atrial fibrillation should be taken as an indicator for inclusion of oral anticoagulation therapy (OAC). MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 104 patients who had no AF episodes in the past and have an indication for permanent pacing were included in the study. RESULTS: During an average follow-up of 18 months, 33 of the patients developed episodes of AF. Inclusion of OAC was performed in 17 patients, in whom AF was recorded, although in all patients CHA2DS2-VASc score was ≥ 1. The inclusion of OAC showed a statistically significant correlation with increasing duration of episodes of AF (r = 0.502, p = 0.003). During the follow-up period none of the patients developed thrombo-embolic complication. CONCLUSION: Considering that our group of patients had no thrombo-embolic events, we could conclude that dividing the AF episodes in less than 1% in 24 hours and longer than 1% within 24 hours could be an indicator for decision-making to include OAK if the CHA2DS2-VASc score is ≥ 1. PMID:27335594
da Silva, Rose M.F.L.
Atrial fibrillation is the most frequent arrhythmia in clinical practice, reaching 2% of the people in the world and is associated with systemic embolism. Thus, the use of anticoagulants is indicated if CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥2 or in patients with previous transient ischemic attack or stroke. For decades, warfarin, a vitamin K antagonist, was the only choice for chronic oral anticoagulation. Recently, novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been introduced, offering similar (or better) effectiveness, safety, and convenience to the vitamin K antagonists. Dabigatran was the first NOAC approved and is a direct thrombin inhibitor. Rivaroxaban and apixaban are factor Xa inhibitors. They display rapid onset of action, more predictable of pharmacological profile, less interactions with other drugs, lack of significant effects in the diet, and less risk of intracranial hemorrhage than warfarin. Despite that dose adjustment is necessary for patients with chronic kidney disease or according to body weight, these new drugs do not require regular monitoring. There are recommendations for the start and follow-up therapy with NOACs, planning for cardioversion, ablation and surgical interventions and the management of bleeding. This article is a review of the major studies of the NOACs. The clinical use of these drugs in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation is presented. PMID:25470147
Tozzi, Piergiorgio; Hayoz, Daniel; Thévenaz, Pierrick; Roulet, Jean-Yves; Salchli, Francois; von Segesser, Ludwig K
Chronic atrial fibrillation affects millions of people worldwide. Its surgical treatment often fails to restore the transport function of the atrium. This study first introduces the concept of an atrial assist device (AAD) to restore the pump function of the atrium. The AAD is developed to be totally implantable in the human body with a transcutaneous energy transfer system to recharge the implanted battery. The ADD consists of a motorless pump based on artificial muscle technology, positioned on the external surface of the atrium to compress it and restore its muscular activity. A bench model reproduces the function of a fibrillating atrium to assess the circulatory support that this pump can provide. Atripump (Nanopowers SA, Switzerland) is a dome-shaped silicone-coated nitinol actuator 5 mm high, sutured on the external surface of the atrium. A pacemaker-like control unit drives the actuator that compresses the atrium, providing the mechanical support to the blood circulation. Electrical characteristics: the system is composed of one actuator that needs a minimal tension of 15 V and has a maximum current of 1.5 A with a 50% duty cycle. The implantable rechargeable battery is made of a cell having the following specifications: nominal tension of a cell: 4.1 V, tension after 90% of discharge: 3.5 V, nominal capacity of a cell: 163 mA h. The bench model consists of an open circuit made of latex bladder 60 mm in diameter filled with water. The bladder is connected to a vertically positioned tube that is filled to different levels, reproducing changes in cardiac preload. The Atripump is placed on the outer surface of the bladder. Pressure, volume and temperature changes were recorded. The contraction rate was 1 Hz with a power supply of 12 V, 400 mA for 200 ms. Preload ranged from 15 to 21 cm H(2)O. Maximal silicone membrane temperature was 55 degrees C and maximal temperature of the liquid environment was 35 degrees C. The pump produced a maximal work of 16 x 10
Jović, A.; Troskot, R.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the time course of the recovery of atrial mechanical function after pharmacological cardioversion of chronic atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 21 patients (12 male, 9 female, aged 37-77 years) with chronic atrial fibrillation (< 6 months) were followed up by serial transmitral pulsed Doppler echocardiography. Echocardiographic studies were performed within the first 24 hours and on day 8, 15, and 30 after cardioversion. RESULTS: There was a significant increase (mean (SD)) in the peak A-wave velocity (from 0.35 (0.10) on day 1 to 0.50 (1.73) on day 8, and thereafter a gradual increase to 0.61 (0.14) m/s on day 30). Similarly, integrated late atrial velocities increased from 4.50 (1.46) on day 1 to 5.61 (1.73) on day 8 and 5.97 (1.47) cm/s2 on day 30. The atrial contribution to total transmitral flow increased significantly from 26 (7)% immediately after conversion of atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm to 34 (7)% on day 30, indicating the haemodynamic benefit of the restoration of sinus rhythm. Left atrial diameter decreased but not significantly, from 4.11 (0.37) to 3.98 (0.34) cm (P < 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that restoration of atrial mechanical function after pharmacological cardioversion in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation is slow and gradual, as it is after electrical DC restoration of sinus rhythm. This time course may have important implications for determining how long treatment with anticoagulants and antiarrhythmic agents needs to continue in individual patients. It will also influence the clinical assessment of the haemodynamic benefit of restoring sinus rhythm in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. Images PMID:9038694
Pagonas, Nikolaos; Schmidt, Sven; Eysel, Jörg; Compton, Friederike; Hoffmann, Clemens; Seibert, Felix; Hilpert, Justus; Tschöpe, Carsten; Zidek, Walter; Westhoff, Timm H
The introduction of automated oscillometric blood pressure monitors was the basis for today's widespread use of blood pressure self-measurement. However, in atrial fibrillation, there is a controversial debate on the use of oscillometry because there is a high variability of heart rate and stroke volume. To date, the accuracy of oscillometric blood pressure monitoring in atrial fibrillation has only been investigated using auscultatory sphygmomanometry as reference method, which may be biased by arrhythmia as well. We performed a cross-sectional study in 102 patients (52 sinus rhythm, 50 atrial fibrillation) assessing the accuracy of an automated and validated oscillometric upper arm (M5 Professional, Omron) and wrist device (R5 Professional, Omron) to invasively assessed arterial pressure. Blood pressure values were calculated as the mean of 3 consecutive measurements. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure did not significantly differ in patients with sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation, independent of the method of measurement (P>0.05 each). The within-subject variability of the oscillometric measurements was higher in patients with atrial fibrillation compared with sinus rhythm (P<0.01 each). The biases of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, however, did not significantly differ in presence or absence of atrial fibrillation in Bland-Altmann analysis (P>0.05 each). In conclusion, atrial fibrillation did not significantly affect the accuracy of oscillometric measurements, if 3 repeated measurements were performed.
Hasegawa, Jumpei; Bieber, Brian; Larkina, Maria; Robinson, Bruce M; Wakai, Sachiko; Akizawa, Tadao; Saito, Akira; Fukuhara, Shunichi; Akiba, Takashi
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common arrhythmias in hemodialysis patients. We evaluated its clinical outcomes among hemodialysis patients with atrial fibrillation in Japan. Using data derived from the Japanese Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study, we analyzed backgrounds and outcomes among hemodialysis patients with and without atrial fibrillation in Japan. Among 7002 hemodialysis patients, the prevalence of atrial fibrillation was 5.7% and the incidence was 0.2 per 100 patient-years. Atrial fibrillation was independently associated with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.32; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.71) and cardiovascular events (hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-1.68), but not with stroke events (hazard ratio, 0.77; 95% confidence interval, 0.55-1.06) after adjustment for other variables. We conclude that patients with atrial fibrillation experienced higher mortality and more cardiovascular events than did patients without atrial fibrillation, although the risk of stroke was lower than expected.
Koskinen, P; Kupari, M; Leinonen, H; Luomanmäki, K
The aetiological role of alcohol in new onset atrial fibrillation was evaluated in a case-control study of 100 consecutive patients aged 21-64 years. Clinical examination, routine diagnostic tests, and echocardiography revealed an underlying disease or other identifiable factor for atrial fibrillation in 65 patients (group 1); 35 patients had idiopathic atrial fibrillation (group 2). The most common diseases associated with atrial fibrillation were ischaemic heart disease (21%), hypertension (13%), and cardiomyopathy (8%). Data on alcohol consumption were obtained by interviewing the patients and their age and sex matched controls on admission. The mean daily alcohol intake of group 2 patients during the week preceding atrial fibrillation was significantly larger than that of either controls or group 1 patients. Compared with controls significantly more patients in both groups with atrial fibrillation had consumed alcohol within two days of the onset of the arrhythmia. Significantly more patients had onset of arrhythmia on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday than on any other weekday, including patients with high alcohol intake. This study establishes alcohol as an important precipitating factor for new onset atrial fibrillation. PMID:3593617
Tenekecioglu, Erhan; Agca, Fahriye Vatansever; Ozluk, Ozlem Arican; Karaagac, Kemal; Demir, Serafettin; Peker, Tezcan; Kuzeytemiz, Mustafa; Senturk, Muhammed; Yılmaz, Mustafa
Background Hypertension is the most prevalent and modifiable risk factor for atrial fibrillation. The pressure overload in the left atrium induces pathophysiological changes leading to alterations in contractile function and electrical properties. Objective In this study our aim was to assess left atrial function in hypertensive patients to determine the association between left atrial function with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). Method We studied 57 hypertensive patients (age: 53±4 years; left ventricular ejection fraction: 76±6.7%), including 30 consecutive patients with PAF and 30 age-matched control subjects. Left atrial (LA) volumes were measured using the modified Simpson's biplane method. Three types of LA volume were determined: maximal LA(LAVmax), preatrial contraction LA(LAVpreA) and minimal LA volume(LAVmin). LA emptying functions were calculated. LA total emptying volume = LAVmax−LAVmin and the LA total EF = (LAVmax-LAVmin )/LAVmax, LA passive emptying volume = LAVmax− LAVpreA and the LA passive EF = (LAVmax-LAVpreA)/LAVmax, LA active emptying volume = LAVpreA−LAVmin and LA active EF = (LAVpreA-LAVmin )/LAVpreA. Results The hypertensive period is longer in hypertensive group with PAF. LAVmax significantly increased in hypertensive group with PAF when compared to hypertensive group without PAF (p=0.010). LAAEF was significantly decreased in hypertensive group with PAF as compared to hypertensive group without PAF (p=0.020). A' was decreased in the hypertensive group with PAF when compared to those without PAF (p = 0.044). Conclusion Increased LA volume and impaired LA active emptying function was associated with PAF in untreated hypertensive patients. Longer hypertensive period is associated with PAF. PMID:24676227
Murin, Jan; Naditch-Brûlé, Lisa; Brette, Sandrine; Chiang, Chern-En; O’Neill, James; Steg, P. Gabriel
Background Atrial fibrillation can be categorized into nonpermanent and permanent atrial fibrillation. There is less information on permanent than on nonpermanent atrial fibrillation patients. This analysis aimed to describe the characteristics and current management, including the proportion of patients with successful atrial fibrillation control, of these atrial fibrillation subsets in a large, geographically diverse contemporary sample. Methods and Results Data from RealiseAF, an international, observational, cross-sectional survey of 10,491 patients with atrial fibrillation, were used to characterize permanent atrial fibrillation (N = 4869) and nonpermanent atrial fibrillation (N = 5622) patients. Permanent atrial fibrillation patients were older, had a longer time since atrial fibrillation diagnosis, a higher symptom burden, and were more likely to be physically inactive. They also had a higher mean (SD) CHADS2 score (2.2 [1.3] vs. 1.7 [1.3], p<0.001), and a higher frequency of CHADS2 score ≥2 (67.3% vs. 53.0%, p<0.001) and comorbidities, most notably heart failure. Physicians indicated using a rate-control strategy in 84.2% of permanent atrial fibrillation patients (vs. 27.5% in nonpermanent atrial fibrillation). Only 50.2% (N = 2262/4508) of permanent atrial fibrillation patients were controlled. These patients had a longer time since atrial fibrillation diagnosis, a lower symptom burden, less obesity and physical inactivity, less severe heart failure, and fewer hospitalizations for acute heart failure than uncontrolled permanent atrial fibrillation patients, but with more arrhythmic events. The most frequent causes of hospitalization in the last 12 months were acute heart failure and stroke. Conclusion Permanent atrial fibrillation is a high-risk subset of atrial fibrillation, representing half of all atrial fibrillation patients, yet rate control is only achieved in around half. Since control is associated with lower symptom burden and heart
Korompoki, Eleni; Del Giudice, Angela; Hillmann, Steffi; Malzahn, Uwe; Gladstone, David J; Heuschmann, Peter; Veltkamp, Roland
Background and purpose The detection rate of atrial fibrillation has not been studied specifically in transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients although extrapolation from ischemic stroke may be inadequate. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the rate of newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation using different methods of ECG monitoring in TIA. Methods A comprehensive literature search was performed following a pre-specified protocol the PRISMA statement. Prospective observational studies and randomized controlled trials were considered that included TIA patients who underwent cardiac monitoring for >12 h. Primary outcome was frequency of detection of atrial fibrillation ≥30 s. Analyses of subgroups and of duration and type of monitoring were performed. Results Seventeen studies enrolling 1163 patients were included. The pooled atrial fibrillation detection rate for all methods was 4% (95% CI: 2-7%). Yield of monitoring was higher in selected (higher age, more extensive testing for arrhythmias before enrolment, or presumed cardioembolic/cryptogenic cause) than in unselected cohorts (7% vs 3%). Pooled mean atrial fibrillation detection rates rose with duration of monitoring: 4% (24 h), 5% (24 h to 7 days) and 6% (>7 days), respectively. Yield of non-invasive was significantly lower than that of invasive monitoring (4% vs. 11%). Significant heterogeneity was observed among studies (I(2)=60.61%). Conclusion This first meta-analysis of atrial fibrillation detection in TIA patients finds a lower atrial fibrillation detection rate in TIA than reported for IS and TIA cohorts in previous meta-analyses. Prospective studies are needed to determine actual prevalence of atrial fibrillation and optimal diagnostic procedure for atrial fibrillation detection in TIA.
Gonçalves, Flavio Donizete; Leite, Valdir Gonçalves; Leite, Vanusa Gonçalves; Maia, Marcelo Alves; Gomes, Otoni Moreira; Lima, Melchior Luiz; Osterne, Evandro César Vidal; Kallás, Elias
Introduction The result of surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation remains controversial, although prospective and randomized studies have shown significant differences in the return to sinus rhythm in patients treated with ablation versus control group. Surgery of the Labyrinth, proposed by Cox and colleagues, is complex and increases the morbidity rate. Therefore, studies are needed to confirm the impact on clinical outcomes and quality of life of these patients. Objective To analyze the results obtained in the treatment of atrial fibrillation by surgical approach, by Gomes procedure, for mitral valve surgery in patients with rheumatic heart disease associated with chronic atrial fibrillation. Methods We studied 20 patients with mitral valve dysfunction of rheumatic etiology, evolving with chronic atrial fibrillation, submitted to surgical treatment of valvular dysfunction and atrial fibrillation by Gomes procedure. Results The mean duration of infusion ranged from 65.8±11.22 and aortic clamping of 40.8±7.87 minutes. Of 20 patients operated, 19 (95%) patients were discharged with normal atrial heart rhythm. One (5%) patient required permanent endocardial pacing. In the postoperative follow-up of six months, 18 (90%) patients continued with regular atrial rhythm, one (5%) patient returned to atrial fibrillation and one (5%) patient continued to require endocardial pacemaker to maintain regular rhythm. Conclusion Gomes procedure associated with surgical correction of mitral dysfunction simplified the surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation in patients with rheumatic mitral valve disease and persistent atrial fibrillation. The results showed that it is a safe and effective procedure. PMID:27849305
Jenkins, J; Noh, K H; Guezennec, A; Bump, T; Arzbaecher, R
This study compares the performance of three detection algorithms for the recognition of atrial fibrillation in chronic pacing leads. Multiple serial recordings were obtained of wideband and filtered electrograms from chronic atrial and ventricular leads in dogs for a period up to 55 days following implantation. Each dog was recorded in sinus rhythm and induced atrial fibrillation. Four days were chosen for processing: The day of implantation and a day in the first, second or third, and fifth weeks. Three signal processing methods were assessed for performance in detection of atrial fibrillation: software recognition of rate with automatic threshold control, amplitude distribution, and frequency spectral analysis. A software trigger for rate determination was adjusted to thresholds of 10, 20, and 30% of maximum baseline-to-peak amplitude. At 10%, a rate boundary anywhere between 420 and 560 beats per minute (bpm) perfectly separated atrial fibrillation from sinus rhythm even though atrial electrograms were contaminated with large QRS deflections and double-sensing was present. At 20% and 30%, a rate boundary around 300 bpm could be used, but sensitivity and specificity were reduced to 90%. In amplitude distribution analysis, a percent of time within a baseline window provided perfect separation of atrial fibrillation from sinus rhythm. In all cases, the signal was within this window less than 43% of the time in atrial fibrillation, and more than 43% in sinus rhythm. In spectral analysis, frequency bands were examined for power content. In the 6 to 30 Hz band atrial fibrillation contained the greater power. Choosing 58% of total power as a discriminant, sensitivity and specificity of atrial fibrillation detection were 100% and 95% respectively.
Schnabel, Renate B.; Yin, Xiaoyan; PhilimonGona; Larson, Martin G.; Beiser, Alexa S.; McManus, David D.; Newton-Cheh, Christopher; Lubitz, Steven A.; Magnani, Jared W.; Ellinor, Patrick T.; SudhaSeshadri; Wolf, Philip A; Vasan, Ramachandran S.; Benjamin, Emelia J.; Levy, Daniel
Summary Background Comprehensive long-term data on atrial fibrillation trends in men and women are scant. Methods We investigated trends in atrial fibrillation incidence, prevalence, and risk factors, and in stroke and mortality following its onset in Framingham Heart Study participants (n=9511) from 1958 to 2007. To accommodate sex differences in atrial fibrillation risk factors and disease manifestations, sex-stratified analyses were performed. Findings During 50 years of observation (202,417 person-years), there were 1,544 new-onset atrial fibrillation cases (46.8% women). We observed about a fourfold increase in the age-adjusted prevalence and more than a tripling in age-adjusted incidence of atrial fibrillation (prevalence 20.4 versus 96.2 per 1000 person-years in men; 13.7 versus 49.4 in women; incidence rates in first versus last decade 3.7 versus 13.4 per 1000 person-years in men; 2.5 versus 8.6 in women, ptrend<0.0001). For atrial fibrillation diagnosed by ECG during routine Framingham examinations, age-adjusted prevalence increased (12.6versus 25.7 per 1000 person-years in men; 8.1 versus 11.8 in women, ptrend<0.0001). The age-adjusted incidence increased, but did not achieve statistical significance. Although the prevalence of most risk factors changed over time, their associated hazards for atrial fibrillation changed little. Multivariable-adjusted proportional hazards models revealed a 73.5% decline in stroke and a 25.4% decline in mortality following atrial fibrillation onset (ptrend=0.0001, ptrend=0.003, respectively). Interpretation Our data suggest that observed trends of increased incidence of atrial fibrillation in the community were partially due to enhanced surveillance. Stroke occurrence and mortality following atrial fibrillation onset declined over the decades, and prevalence increased approximately fourfold. The hazards for atrial fibrillation risk factors remained fairly constant. Our data indicate a need for measures to enhance early
Lau, Chu-Pak; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Ngarmukos, Tachapong; Kim, You-Ho; Kong, Chi-Woon; Omar, Razali; Sriratanasathavorn, Charn; Munawar, Muhammad; Kam, Ruth; Lee, Kathy Lf; Lau, Elizabeth Oi-Yan; Tse, Hung-Fat
The Septal Pacing for Atrial Fibrillation Suppression Evaluation (SAFE) study is a single-blinded, parallel randomized designed multicenter study in pacemaker indicated patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). The objective is to evaluate whether the site of atrial pacing--conventional right atrial appendage versus low atrial septal--with or without atrial overdrive pacing will influence the development of persistent AF. The study will provide a definitive answer to whether a different atrial pacing site or the use of AF suppression pacing or both can give incremental antiarrhythmic benefit when one is implanting a device for a patient with a history of paroxysmal AF.
Smorodinova, Natalia; Bláha, Martin; Melenovský, Vojtěch; Rozsívalová, Karolína; Přidal, Jaromír; Ďurišová, Mária; Pirk, Jan; Kautzner, Josef; Kučera, Tomáš
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and despite obvious clinical importance remains its pathogenesis only partially explained. A relation between inflammation and AF has been suggested by findings of increased inflammatory markers in AF patients. Objective The goal of this study was to characterize morphologically and functionally CD45-positive inflammatory cell populations in atrial myocardium of patients with AF as compared to sinus rhythm (SR). Methods We examined 46 subjects (19 with AF, and 27 in SR) undergoing coronary bypass or valve surgery. Peroperative bioptic samples of the left and the right atrial tissue were examined using immunohistochemistry. Results The number of CD3+ T-lymphocytes and CD68-KP1+ cells were elevated in the left atrial myocardium of patients with AF compared to those in SR. Immune cell infiltration of LA was related to the rhythm, but not to age, body size, LA size, mitral regurgitation grade, type of surgery, systemic markers of inflammation or presence of diabetes or hypertension. Most of CD68-KP1+ cells corresponded to dendritic cell population based on their morphology and immunoreactivity for DC-SIGN. The numbers of mast cells and CD20+ B-lymphocytes did not differ between AF and SR patients. No foci of inflammation were detected in any sample. Conclusions An immunohistochemical analysis of samples from patients undergoing open heart surgery showed moderate and site-specific increase of inflammatory cells in the atrial myocardium of patients with AF compared to those in SR, with prevailing population of monocyte-macrophage lineage. These cells and their cytokine products may play a role in atrial remodeling and AF persistence. PMID:28225836
Xi, Yutao; Chao, Zhi-Yang James; Yan, Wen; Abbasi, Shahrzad; Yin, Xiaomeng; Mathuria, Nilesh; Patel, Mehul; Fan, Christopher; Sun, Junping; Wu, Geru; Wang, Suwei; Elayda, MacArthur; Gao, Lianjun; Wehrens, Xander H.T.; Lin, Shien-Fong; Cheng, Jie
BACKGROUND Vagal hyperactivity promotes atrial fibrillation (AF), which has been almost exclusively attributed to acetylcholine. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and acetylcholine are neurotransmitters co-released during vagal stimulation. Exogenous VIP has been shown to promote AF by shortening action potential duration (APD), increasing APD spatial heterogeneity, and causing intra-atrial conduction block. OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of neuronally released VIP on atrial electrophysiologic properties during vagal stimulation. METHODS We used a specific VIP antagonist (H9935) to uncover the effects of endogenous VIP released during vagal stimulation in canine hearts. RESULTS H9935 significantly attenuated (1) the vagally induced shortening of atrial effective refractory period and widening of atrial vulnerability window during stimulation of cervical vagosym-pathetic trunks (VCNS) and (2) vagal effects on APD during stimulation through fat-pad ganglion plexus (VGPS). Atropine completely abolished these vagal effects during VCNS and VGPS. In contrast, VGPS-induced slowing of local conduction velocity was completely abolished by either VIP antagonist or atropine. In pacing-induced AF during VGPS, maximal dominant frequencies and their spatial gradients were reduced significantly by H9935 and, more pronouncedly, by atropine. Furthermore, VIP release in the atria during vagal stimulation was inhibited by atropine, which may account for the concealment of VIP effects with muscarinic blockade. CONCLUSION Neuronally released VIP contributes to vagal effects on atrial electrophysiologic properties and affects the pathophysiology of vagally induced AF. Neuronal release of VIP in the atria is inhibited by muscarinic blockade, a novel mechanism by which VIP effects are concealed by atropine during vagal stimulation. PMID:25748673
Biviano, Angelo B.; Ciaccio, Edward J.; Fleitman, Jessica; Knotts, Robert; Lawrence, John; Haynes, Norrisa; Cyrille, Nicole; Hickey, Kathleen; Iyer, Vivek; Wan, Elaine; Whang, William; Garan, Hasan
INTRODUCTON Atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation patients often manifest atrial tachycardias (AT) with atypical ECG morphologies that preclude accurate localization and mechanism. Diagnostic maneuvers used to define ATs during electrophysiology studies can be limited by tachycardia termination or transformation. Additional methods of characterizing post-AF ablation ATs are required. METHODS AND RESULTS We evaluated the utility of noninvasive ECG signal analytics in post-ablation AF patients for the following features: 1) Localization of ATs (i.e., right versus left atrium), and 2) Identification of common left AT mechanisms (i.e., focal vs. macroreentrant). Atrial waveforms from the surface ECG were used to analyze: 1) Spectral organization, including dominant amplitude (DA) and mean spectral profile (MP), and 2) Temporospatial variability, using temporospatial correlation coefficients. We studied 94 ATs in 71 patients who had undergone prior pulmonary vein isolation for AF and returned for a second ablation: 1) right atrial cavotricuspid-isthmus dependent (CTI) ATs (n=21); 2) left atrial macroreentrant ATs (n=41) and focal ATs (n=32). Right CTI ATs manifested higher DAs and lower MPs than left ATs, indicative of greater stability and less complexity in the frequency spectrum. Left macroreentrant ATs possessed higher temporospatial organization than left focal ATs. CONCLUSIONS Noninvasively recorded atrial waveform signal analyses show that right ATs possess more stable activation properties than left ATs, and left macroreentrant ATs manifest higher temporospatial organization than left focal ATs. Further prospective analyses evaluating the role these novel ECG-derived tools can play to help localize and identify mechanisms of common ATs in AF ablation patients are warranted. PMID:26228873
Sánchez, Carlos; Bueno-Orovio, Alfonso; Wettwer, Erich; Loose, Simone; Simon, Jana; Ravens, Ursula; Pueyo, Esther; Rodriguez, Blanca
Aims Human atrial electrophysiology exhibits high inter-subject variability in both sinus rhythm (SR) and chronic atrial fibrillation (cAF) patients. Variability is however rarely investigated in experimental and theoretical electrophysiological studies, thus hampering the understanding of its underlying causes but also its implications in explaining differences in the response to disease and treatment. In our study, we aim at investigating the ability of populations of human atrial cell models to capture the inter-subject variability in action potential (AP) recorded in 363 patients both under SR and cAF conditions. Methods and Results Human AP recordings in atrial trabeculae (n = 469) from SR and cAF patients were used to calibrate populations of computational SR and cAF atrial AP models. Three populations of over 2000 sampled models were generated, based on three different human atrial AP models. Experimental calibration selected populations of AP models yielding AP with morphology and duration in range with experimental recordings. Populations using the three original models can mimic variability in experimental AP in both SR and cAF, with median conductance values in SR for most ionic currents deviating less than 30% from their original peak values. All cAF populations show similar variations in GK1, GKur and Gto, consistent with AF-related remodeling as reported in experiments. In all SR and cAF model populations, inter-subject variability in IK1 and INaK underlies variability in APD90, variability in IKur, ICaL and INaK modulates variability in APD50 and combined variability in Ito and IKur determines variability in APD20. The large variability in human atrial AP triangulation is mostly determined by IK1 and either INaK or INaCa depending on the model. Conclusion Experimentally-calibrated human atrial AP models populations mimic AP variability in SR and cAF patient recordings, and identify potential ionic determinants of inter-subject variability in
Contractor, Tahmeed; Khasnis, Atul
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia with an incidence that is as high as 10% in the elderly population. Given the large proportion of strokes caused by AF as well as the associated morbidity and mortality, reducing stroke burden is the most important part of AF management. While warfarin significantly reduces the risk of AF-related stroke, perceived bleeding risks and compliance limit its widespread use in the high-risk AF population. The left atrial appendage is believed to be the "culprit" for thrombogenesis in nonvalvular AF and is a new therapeutic target for stroke prevention. The purpose of this review is to explore the evolving field of percutaneous LAA occlusion. After briefly highlighting the risk of stroke with AF, problems with warfarin, and the role of the LAA in clot formation, this article discusses the feasibility and efficacy of various devices which have been developed for percutaneous LAA occlusion.
Wagdi, Philipp; Salzer, Frank
Life expectancy of the population is steadily increasing world wide. Consequently, the incidence and ultimately the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and it’s sequelae will be rising proportionately. It is estimated that 3-5% of persons above 65 years of age have chronic AF, 30% of which will suffer at least one stroke. On the other hand, chronic AF is responsible for about 20% of all cerebrovascular accidents. Predictors of stroke in AF have been defined by the CHADS2 score, and in these patients, oral anticoagulation has been the cornerstone of thromboembolic disease prevention. Because elderly patients have an increased risk of bleeding complications even under the newer antagonists of Factor Xa and direct Thrombin inhibitors, percutaneous occlusion of the left atrial appendage (LAA) as the main thrombogenic source offers an attractive alternative to permanent anticoagulation. This promising new therapeutic approach is put into clinical real world perspective.
Price, Matthew J
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major cause of stroke and systemic embolism. Although warfarin and the novel oral anticoagulants reduce thromboembolic risk, they are associated with an ongoing bleeding hazard, in addition to other limitations that deter their use. The left atrial appendage (LAA) appears to be the primary source of thrombus in AF; therefore, LAA closure represents a mechanical strategy for stroke prevention in these patients. The WATCHMAN™ LAA closure device (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) is a nitinol-framed occluder that is implanted percutaneously under echocardiographic and fluoroscopic guidance. Data from two randomized clinical trials support the clinical efficacy of transcatheter LAA occlusion with the WATCHMAN and demonstrate that procedural safety has improved significantly since initial experience. This article summarizes the rationale, procedural technique, safety, and clinical efficacy of the WATCHMAN device in patients with AF at high risk for thromboembolic events.
Moss, Joshua D
Stroke prevention is of vital importance in the management of atrial fibrillation (AF), though the proven strategy of systemic anticoagulation for thromboembolic prophylaxis is underutilized for a variety of reasons. The left atrial appendage (LAA) has long been suspected as the principal source of arterial emboli, particularly in nonvalvular AF, and a variety of techniques for its exclusion from the circulation have been developed. This review highlights the history of the LAA as a target of intervention, and the parallel advances in three minimally invasive strategies for its exclusion: percutaneous occlusion of the LAA orifice from within the left atrium, closed-chest ligation via a percutaneous pericardial approach, and minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgery. While further study is necessary, available evidence suggests that effective LAA exclusion is becoming a viable alternative to anticoagulation for stroke prevention in nonvalvular AF.
Rao, Meena P.; Pokorney, Sean D.; Granger, Christopher B.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia and accounts for one-third of hospitalizations for rhythm disorders in the United States. The prevalence of atrial fibrillation averages 1% and increases with age. With the aging of the population, the number of patients with atrial fibrillation is expected to increase 150% by 2050, with more than 50% of atrial fibrillation patients being over the age of 80. This increasing burden of atrial fibrillation will lead to a higher incidence of stroke, as patients with atrial fibrillation have a five- to sevenfold greater risk of stroke than the general population. Strokes secondary to atrial fibrillation have a worse prognosis than in patients without atrial fibrillation. Vitamin K antagonists (e.g., warfarin), direct thrombin inhibitors (dabigatran), and factor Xa inhibitors (rivaroxaban and apixaban) are all oral anticoagulants that have been FDA approved for the prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation. This review will summarize the experience of anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation with a focus on the experience at the Duke Clinic Research Institute. PMID:25215263
Turakhia, Mintu P; Kaiser, Daniel W
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a multifaceted and highly variable disease that is often difficult to manage within the traditional health-care model. The conventional model of regular or pre-scheduled appointments with physicians or allied health professionals is poorly suited to the unpredictable and often urgent clinical needs of patients with AF. Mobile health (mHealth) has the potential to dramatically transform the delivery and quality of AF care. In this brief review, we summarize the current limitations and evidence gaps in treating patients with AF. We then describe the current mHealth landscape, changes in telehealth coverage and reimbursement, and recent technological advances of smartphones, mobile applications, and connected wearable devices. We also describe important barriers and challenges, such as clinical management of large volumes of data, application of predictive analytics/machine learning, and the need for high-quality randomized clinical trials.
Suárez Fernández, C; Camafort, M; Cepeda Rodrigo, J M; Díez-Manglano, J; Formiga, F; Pose Reino, A; Tiberio, G; Mostaza, J M
Atrial fibrillation (AF) in the elderly is a complex condition due to the high number of frequently associated comorbidities, such as cardiovascular and kidney disease, cognitive disorders, falls and polypharmacy. Except when contraindicated, anticoagulation is necessary for preventing thromboembolic events in this population. Both vitamin K antagonists and direct oral anticoagulants (dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban) are indicated in this context. Renal function should be closely monitored for this age group when these drugs are used. In recent years, various clinical practice guidelines have been published on patients with AF. The majority of these guidelines make specific recommendations on the clinical characteristics and treatment of elderly patients. In this update, we review the specific comments on the recommendations concerning antithrombotic treatment in elderly patients with nonvalvular AF.
Dahlberg, Katherine Willett
Abstract: Despite the availability of predictive tools and treatment guidelines, anticoagulant therapies are underprescribed and many patients are undertreated for conditions that predispose to thromboembolic complications, including stroke. This review explores reasons for which physicians fear that the risks of anticoagulation may be greater than the potential benefit. The results of numerous clinical trials confirm that patients benefit from judiciously managed anticoagulation and that physicians can take various approaches to minimize risk. Use of stratification scores for patient selection and accurate estimation of stroke risk may improve outcomes; bleeding risk is less important than stroke risk. Adoption of newer anticoagulants with simpler regimens may help physicians allay their fears of anticoagulant use in patients with atrial fibrillation. These fears, although not groundless, should not overtake caution and hinder the delivery of appropriate evidence-based care. PMID:25285512
Edholm, Karli; Ragle, Nathan; Rondina, Matthew T.
SYNOPSIS Compared to younger patients, older patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have an increased risk of stroke and systemic embolism1, 2. For the majority of patients, oral anticoagulation (OAC) remains the most effective way to reduce this risk. While vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) have been used for decades, the more recent development of non-vitamin K dependent oral anticoagulants (NOACs) provides clinicians with broader selection of anticoagulants for stroke prevention in older AF patients. In this review, we discuss stroke risk-stratification tools for clinical decision making, review pharmacologic options for the prevention of stroke, and highlight several practical considerations to the use of these agents in older adults. PMID:25700592
Gasparova, Iveta; Kubatka, Peter; Opatrilova, Radka; Caprnda, Martin; Filipova, Slavomira; Rodrigo, Luis; Malan, Leone; Mozos, Ioana; Rabajdova, Miroslava; Nosal, Vladimir; Kobyliak, Nazarii; Valentova, Vanda; Petrovic, Daniel; Adamek, Mariusz; Kruzliak, Peter
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of AF are poorly understood, although electrophysiological remodeling has been described as an important initiating step. There is growing evidence that oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of AF. Many known triggers of oxidative stress, such as age, diabetes, smoking, and inflammation, are linked with an increased risk of arrhythmia. Numerous preclinical studies and clinical trials reported the importance of antioxidant therapy in the prevention of AF, using vitamins C and E, polyunsaturated fatty acids, statins, or nitric oxide donors. The aim of our work is to give a current overview and analysis of opportunities, challenges, and benefits of antioxidant therapy in AF.
Shukla, Ashish; Curtis, Anne B
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia and a major global public health problem due to its associated morbidity, including stroke and heart failure, diminished quality of life, and increased mortality. AF often presents initially in a paroxysmal form and may progress to a more sustained form over time. Evidence from randomized controlled trials suggests that there may be no mortality benefit to using a rhythm control approach in comparison with rate control of AF. Nevertheless, sustained forms of AF may be associated with increased symptoms and cardiovascular morbidity, and consequently they remain an additional target for therapy. The present review evaluates the clinical correlates of arrhythmia progression and risk stratification techniques available to assess probability of AF progression. Further, currently available management options for arrhythmia control in AF are evaluated and their therapeutic effect and efficacy on disease progression are explored. PMID:24379678
Márquez, Manlio F
The present report describes the program of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) for atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients referred to the AF Clinic of the National Institute of Cardiology. Specific inclusion criteria are required for RFCA of AF. If the patient fulfills it, then an electrophysiological study is performed. A transseptal approach and special mapping catheters are used to detect abnormal electrical activity (AEA). Pulmonary vein isolation is performed at the ostium/ antrum of those veins with AEA if the patient had paroxysmal AF. Global pulmonary vein isolation with some additional lines guided by electroanatomical mapping is performed in the case of chronic AF. Postoperative follow-up includes consultation, ECG and Holter monitoring at 1, 3, 6 and 12-month. RFCA is a useful and relatively safe procedure for the treatment of AF and the only one with curative potential.
Kyprianou, Katerina; Pericleous, Agamemnon; Stavrou, Antonio; Dimitrakaki, Inetzi A; Challoumas, Dimitrios; Dimitrakakis, Georgios
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and a huge public health burden associated with significant morbidity and mortality. For decades an increasing number of patients have undergone surgical treatment of AF, mainly during concomitant cardiac surgery. This has sparked a drive for conducting further studies and researching this field. With the cornerstone Cox-Maze III “cut and sew” procedure being technically challenging, the focus in current literature has turned towards less invasive techniques. The introduction of ablative devices has revolutionised the surgical management of AF, moving away from the traditional surgical lesions. The hybrid procedure, a combination of catheter and surgical ablation is another promising new technique aiming to improve outcomes. Despite the increasing number of studies looking at various aspects of the surgical management of AF, the literature would benefit from more uniformly conducted randomised control trials. PMID:26839656
Weiner, P; Bassan, M M; Jarchovsky, J; Iusim, S; Plavnick, L
Forty-seven episodes of acute atrial fibrillation (AF) in 45 patients were examined prospectively to determine the course of the disorder treated with rapid digitalization. Patients received 1.5 mg of digoxin intravenously over 12 hours. In 40 of the 47 attacks, reversion to sinus rhythm occurred with no additional therapy at 1 to 96 hours (median 4 hours) after beginning digoxin. In thirty-two patients, conversion occurred within 8 hours; only one patient showed important ventricular slowing before conversion. Thus, if digoxin facilitates conversion, it does not do so by slowing the ventricular response. Of the 11 patients still in AF at 16 hours, conversion subsequently occurred in only four who were receiving digoxin alone. We conclude that the prognosis for quick reversion to sinus rhythm in patients with acute AF treated with rapid digitalization alone is excellent. If reversion does not occur by 16 to 24 hours, additional measures to restore sinus rhythm are indicated.
Sovari, Ali A.; Dudley, Samuel C.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia that requires medical attention, and its incidence is increasing. Current ion channel blockade therapies and catheter ablation have significant limitations in treatment of AF, mainly because they do not address the underlying pathophysiology of the disease. Oxidative stress has been implicated as a major underlying pathology that promotes AF; however, conventional antioxidants have not shown impressive therapeutic effects. A more careful design of antioxidant therapies and better selection of patients likely are required to treat effectively AF with antioxidant agents. Current evidence suggest inhibition of prominent cardiac sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase and targeting subcellular compartments with the highest levels of ROS may prove to be effective therapies for AF. Increased serum markers of oxidative stress may be an important guide in selecting the AF patients who will most likely respond to antioxidant therapy. PMID:22934062
Capranzano, Piera; Miccichè, Eligio; D'Urso, Lucia; Privitera, Fiorella; Tamburino, Corrado
For decades, warfarin has remained the standard oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF). Three novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been recently approved for stroke prevention in non-valvular AF: dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban. Better pharmacological and clinical profiles make these newcomers a preferable alternative over warfarin. Current AF guidelines do not endorse NOACs over warfarin, or one NOAC over another. Indeed, choice of the anticoagulation regimen should be personalized based on the relative efficacy and safety of different agents across subgroups stratified by thrombotic and bleeding risk, as well as on other clinical factors, including anticoagulation control on warfarin, drug interactions, compliance and need for coagulation monitoring. This review appraises i) the randomized evidence on approved NOACs versus warfarin in AF across subgroups stratified by risk factors of stroke and bleeding and by the anticoagulation level reached on warfarin; and ii) clinical factors impacting on the anticoagulation regimen selection.
Galvez-Olortegui, José Kelvin; Álvarez-Vargas, Mayita Lizbeth; Galvez-Olortegui, Tomas Vladimir; Godoy-Palomino, Armando; Camacho-Saavedra, Luis
The aim of this study is the methodological evaluation of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) in atrial fibrillation. This is the second in a series of articles of review, analysis, assessment in methodology and content of clinical practice guidelines in Cardiology. Among all clinical practice guidelines, we selected the American, Canadian and NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines. We used the AGREE (Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation) II instrument for the assessment. In general, the guidelines obtained the lowest score in the applicability domain (mean 36.1%); while the highest score was for clarity of presentation (mean 93.5%). The lowest percentage was found in the editorial independence domain (Canadian guideline) and the highest of all scores in the applicability domain (NICE guideline). Regarding global quality, the NICE guideline obtained the AGREE II instrument best scores, followed by the American guideline, both recommended for use without modifications.
Adam, M; Fischetti, D; Montenero, A S
Atrial fibrillation affects a large population of patients. The electrophysiological mechanisms that initiate and maintain atrial fibrillation may be multiple. Even if some studies exploring right atrial activation have been recently published, data concerning atrial fibrillation activation patterns and its mechanisms are still scarce and controversial. This study supplies information on right atrial activation during atrial fibrillation. Twenty-four patients with recurrent, drug-refractory, lone paroxysmal atrial fibrillation underwent an extensive mapping of the right atrium. A pattern of organized atrial fibrillation (type 1) was noted in the trabeculated right atrium and atrial roof, characterized by discrete atrial electrograms, separated by an isoelectric baseline, with a continuous switching between clockwise and counterclockwise activation that we called washing-machine phenomenon. In the majority of patients, recordings from the anterior and medial areas of the atrial septum, showed fractionated electrograms consistent with a more disorganized activation pattern. Atrial activation in the inferior septum and coronary sinus was rather disorganized, neither synchronized with the activation sequence of the trabeculated right atrium nor with that of the anterior septum. Furthermore, the activation pattern showed fractionated electrograms and a variability of the isoelectric baseline similar to that recorded in the septum. No significant complications were reported during the procedure. In conclusion, mapping of the right atrium during induced atrial fibrillation shows a very typical pattern of activation in the trabeculated right atrium that we called the washing-machine phenomenon. Whether this sequence of activation represents a bystander situation or an active conditioning factor needs further investigations.
Peterson, Benjamin E; Al-Khatib, Sana M; Granger, Christopher B
Atrial fibrillation is a common, costly and morbid cardiovascular arrhythmia. Stroke prevention remains the mainstay of treatment for atrial fibrillation, and the recent advent of novel oral anticoagulants with direct factor IIa or factor Xa inhibition has significantly revolutionized this aspect of treatment for atrial fibrillation patients. This review focuses on the tolerability and efficacy of apixaban and tackles the generalizability of the findings with apixaban to broader patient populations than those primarily enrolled in the clinical trials, drawing from the AVERROES and ARISTOTLE trials and their subsequent secondary analyses. Taken together, findings from these trials show that apixaban is superior to warfarin in preventing stroke with a lower risk of major bleeding in the general population of patients with atrial fibrillation as well as in several key high-risk patient subgroups.
Sherwood, Matthew W.; Becker, Richard C.
Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia. One of the important aspects of the management of atrial fibrillation is stroke prevention. Warfarin has been the longstanding anticoagulant used for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. There are now three novel oral anticoagulants, which have been studied in randomized controlled trials and subsequently approved by the Federal Drug Administration for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Special patient populations, including renal insufficiency, elderly, prior stroke, and extreme body weights, were represented to varying degrees in the clinical trials of the novel oral anticoagulants. Furthermore, there is variation in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of each anticoagulant, which affect the patient populations differently. Patients and clinicians are faced with the task of selecting among the available anticoagulants, and this review is designed to be a tool for clinical decision-making. PMID:23846737
Spivak, Inna E
Anticoagulation is an important strategy for the prevention of stroke associated with atrial fibrillation. Development of new oral agents has created a need to educate nurses to administer these medications and provide patient education.
The Maze procedure was the first surgical technique developed to ablate, rather than isolate, atrial fibrillation and was first performed clinically in 1987. The experimental and clinical electrophysiological maps on which the Maze procedure was based demonstrated the presence of two or more large (5-6 cm diameter) macro-reentrant circuits during established atrial fibrillation (AF). Eleven years later, focal triggers were identified, primarily in and around the pulmonary veins, and were shown to be responsible for the induction of individual episodes of AF. Thus, it became clear that episodes of paroxysmal AF could be treated in most patients by isolating or ablating the region of the pulmonary veins, but that once AF became non-paroxysmal and thus dependent upon the macro-reentrant circuits for its maintenance, it would still be necessary to perform some type of additional procedure to interrupt those circuits. Approximately 100,000 patients who undergo coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR) or mitral valve surgery in the US also have associated AF, but only 20% of them undergo a concomitant procedure to ablate the AF. However, multiple studies have demonstrated that treating the AF at the time of these other primary operations results in an improved quality of life, fewer long-term strokes and improved long-term survival while adding no risk to the overall surgical procedure. Moreover, the major cardiology and surgery societies recommend that concomitant AF surgery be performed in all cases when feasible. Patients undergoing CABG and AVR who have paroxysmal AF should undergo pulmonary vein isolation, while those with non-paroxysmal AF (persistent or long-standing persistent AF) should have a Maze procedure. Patients undergoing mitral valve surgery who have either paroxysmal AF or non-paroxysmal AF should undergo a Maze procedure. PMID:24516803
Patel, Taral K.; Passman, Rod S.
Opinion statement Atrial fibrillation (AF) remains a major risk factor for stroke. Unfortunately, clinical trials have failed to demonstrate that a strategy of rhythm control—therapy to maintain normal sinus rhythm (NSR)—reduces stroke risk. The apparent lack of benefit of rhythm control likely reflects the difficulty in maintaining NSR using currently available therapies. However, there are signals from several trials that the presence of NSR is indeed beneficial and associated with better outcomes related to stroke and mortality. Most electrophysiologists feel that as rhythm control strategies continue to improve, the crucial link between rhythm control and stroke reduction will finally be demonstrated. Therefore, AF specialists tend to be aggressive in their attempts to maintain NSR, especially in patients who have symptomatic AF. A step-wise approach from antiarrhythmic drugs to catheter ablation to cardiac surgery is generally used. In select patients, catheter ablation or cardiac surgery may supersede antiarrhythmic drugs. The choice depends on the type of AF, concurrent heart disease, drug toxicity profiles, procedural risks, and patient preferences. Regardless of strategy, given the limited effectiveness of currently available rhythm control therapies, oral anticoagulation is still recommended for stroke prophylaxis in AF patients with other stroke risk factors. Major challenges in atrial fibrillation management include selecting patients most likely to benefit from rhythm control, choosing specific antiarrhythmic drugs or procedures to achieve rhythm control, long-term monitoring to gauge the efficacy of rhythm control, and determining which (if any) patients may safely discontinue anticoagulation if long-term NSR is achieved. PMID:23397289
Orozco-Duque, A; Novak, D; Kremen, V; Bustamante, J
Complex fractionated atrial electrograms provide an important tool for identifying arrhythmogenic substrates that can be used to guide catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF). However, fractionation is a phenomenon that remains unclear. This paper aims to evaluate the multifractal properties of electrograms in AF in order to propose a method based on multifractal analysis able to discriminate between different levels of fractionation. We introduce a new method, the h-fluctuation index (hFI), where h is the generalised Hurst exponent, to extract information from the shape of the multifractal spectrum. Two multifractal frameworks are evaluated: multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis and wavelet transform modulus maxima. hFI is exemplified through its application in synthetic signals, and it is evaluated in a database of electrograms labeled on the basis of four degrees of fractionation. We compare the performance of hFI with other indexes, and find that hFI outperforms them. The results of the study provide evidence that multifractal analysis is useful for studying fractionation phenomena in AF electrograms, and indicate that hFI can be proposed as a tool for grade fractionation associated with the detection of target sites for ablation in AF.
Dong, Yan; Yao, Kuiwu; Jiang, Wenrui
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, which is related to many cardiac and cerebral vascular diseases, especially stroke. It can therefore increase cardiovascular mortality and all-cause death. The current treatments of AF remain to be western drugs and radiofrequency ablation which are limited by the tolerance of patients, adverse side effects, and high recurrence rate, especially for the elderly. On the contrary, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with long history of use involves various treatment methods, including Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) or bioactive ingredients, Chinese patent medicines, acupuncture, Qigong, and Tai Chi Chuan. With more and more researches reported, the active roles of TCM in AF management have been discovered. Then it is likely that TCM would be effective preventive means and valuable additional remedy for AF. The potential mechanisms further found by numerous experimental studies showed the distinct characteristics of TCM. Some CHMs or bioactive ingredients are atrial-selective, while others are multichannel and multifunctional. Therefore, in this review we summarized the treatment strategies reported in TCM, with the purpose of providing novel ideas and directions for AF management. PMID:28243308
Evtushenko, A. V.; Evtushenko, V. V.; Bykov, A. N.; Sergeev, V. S.; Syryamkin, V. I.; Kistenev, Yu. V.; Anfinogenova, Ya. D.; Smyshlyaev, K. A.; Kurlov, I. O.
The article is devoted to the evaluation of the results of clinical application of penetrating radiofrequency ablation techniques on atrial myocardium. Total operated on 241 patients with valvular heart disease and coronary heart disease complicated with atrial fibrillation. All operations were performed under cardiopulmonary bypass and cardioplegia. The main group consists of 141 patients which were operated using penetrating technique radiofrequency exposure. The control group consisted of 100 patients who underwent surgery with the use of "classical" monopolar RF-ablation technique. Both groups were not significantly different on all counts before surgery. Patients with previous heart surgery were excluded during the selection of candidates for the procedure, due to the presence of adhesions in the pericardium, that do not allow good visualization of left atrium, sufficient to perform this procedure. Penetrating technique has significantly higher efficiency compared to the "classic" technique in the early and long-term postoperative periods. In the early postoperative period, its efficiency is 93%, and in the long term is 88%. The efficacy of "classical" monopolar procedure is below: 86% and 68% respectively.
Chang, Kelly C.; Bayer, Jason D.; Trayanova, Natalia A.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, but our knowledge of the arrhythmogenic substrate is incomplete. Alternans, the beat-to-beat alternation in the shape of cardiac electrical signals, typically occurs at fast heart rates and leads to arrhythmia. However, atrial alternans have been observed at slower pacing rates in AF patients than in controls, suggesting that increased vulnerability to arrhythmia in AF patients may be due to the proarrythmic influence of alternans at these slower rates. As such, alternans may present a useful therapeutic target for the treatment and prevention of AF, but the mechanism underlying alternans occurrence in AF patients at heart rates near rest is unknown. The goal of this study was to determine how cellular changes that occur in human AF affect the appearance of alternans at heart rates near rest. To achieve this, we developed a computational model of human atrial tissue incorporating electrophysiological remodeling associated with chronic AF (cAF) and performed parameter sensitivity analysis of ionic model parameters to determine which cellular changes led to alternans. Of the 20 parameters tested, only decreasing the ryanodine receptor (RyR) inactivation rate constant (kiCa) produced action potential duration (APD) alternans seen clinically at slower pacing rates. Using single-cell clamps of voltage, fluxes, and state variables, we determined that alternans onset was Ca2+-driven rather than voltage-driven and occurred as a result of decreased RyR inactivation which led to increased steepness of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release slope. Iterated map analysis revealed that because SR Ca2+ uptake efficiency was much higher in control atrial cells than in cAF cells, drastic reductions in kiCa were required to produce alternans at comparable pacing rates in control atrial cells. These findings suggest that RyR kinetics may play a critical role in altered Ca2+ homeostasis which drives proarrhythmic
Ketai, Loren H; Teague, Shawn D; Rissing, Stacy M
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) may be the cause or sequela of left atrial abnormalities and variants. Purpose To determine the prevalence of left atrial (LA) abnormalities in AF patients compared to normal sinus rhythm (NSR) patients. Material and Methods We retrospectively reviewed 281 cardiac CT examinations from 2010 to 2012, excluding patients with prior pulmonary vein ablation, known coronary artery disease, prior coronary stent placement, or coronary artery bypass grafts. The first group consisted of 159 AF patients undergoing cardiac CT prior to pulmonary vein ablation and the second group consisted of 122 NSR patients evaluated with coronary CT angiography. Demographic data were collected. LA abnormalities were analyzed. Left atrial diameter was measured on an axial view. Results A total of 281 patients were included. The male gender has significantly higher prevalence of AF than female gender, P value <0.001. Patients with AF were significantly older (mean age, 57.4 years; standard deviation [SD], 11.8 years) than NSR patients (mean age, 53.4 years; SD, 13.6 years), P value, 0.01. The left atrial diameter was greater in the AF patients (mean diameter, 4.3 cm; SD, 0.82 cm) versus the NSR patients (3.4 cm; SD, 0.58 cm), P value, <0.0001. LA diverticulum was the most prevalent variant, occurring in 28.4% of the entire patient population followed by LA pouch, occurring in 24%. There was no significant between group differences in the prevalence of these or the remainder of the LA variants. Conclusion AF patients differed significantly from NSR patients in LA size, gender, and mean age. There was no statistical significance between the two groups with regard to the LA morphologic abnormalities other than size. PMID:27358747
Vlachos, Konstantinos; Letsas, Konstantinos P; Korantzopoulos, Panagiotis; Liu, Tong; Georgopoulos, Stamatis; Bakalakos, Athanasios; Karamichalakis, Nikolaos; Xydonas, Sotirios; Efremidis, Michael; Sideris, Antonios
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice. Several conventional and novel predictors of AF development and progression (from paroxysmal to persistent and permanent types) have been reported. The most important predictor of AF progression is possibly the arrhythmia itself. The electrical, mechanical and structural remodeling determines the perpetuation of AF and the progression from paroxysmal to persistent and permanent forms. Common clinical scores such as the hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, transient ischemic attack or stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart failure and the congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, diabetes mellitus, stroke/transient ischemic attack, vascular disease, age 65-74 years, sex category scores as well as biomarkers related to inflammation may also add important information on this topic. There is now increasing evidence that even in patients with so-called lone or idiopathic AF, the arrhythmia is the manifestation of a structural atrial disease which has recently been defined and described as fibrotic atrial cardiomyopathy. Fibrosis results from a broad range of factors related to AF inducing pathologies such as cell stretch, neurohumoral activation, and oxidative stress. The extent of fibrosis as detected either by late gadolinium enhancement-magnetic resonance imaging or electroanatomic voltage mapping may guide the therapeutic approach based on the arrhythmia substrate. The knowledge of these risk factors may not only delay arrhythmia progression, but also reduce the arrhythmia burden in patients with first detected AF. The present review highlights on the conventional and novel risk factors of development and progression of AF. PMID:27022458
Tao, Ye; Zhang, Min; Li, Lele; Bai, Yan; Zhou, Yuefang; Moon, Anne M.; Kaminski, Henry J.; Martin, James F.
Background Pitx2 is the homeobox gene located in proximity to the human 4q25 familial atrial fibrillation locus. When deleted in the mouse germline, Pitx2 haploinsufficiency predisposes to pacing induced atrial fibrillation indicating that reduced Pitx2 promotes an arrhythmogenic substrate. Previous work focused on Pitx2 developmental functions that predispose to atrial fibrillation. Although Pitx2 is expressed in postnatal left atrium, it is unknown whether Pitx2 has distinct postnatal and developmental functions. Methods and Results To investigate Pitx2 postnatal function, we conditionally inactivated Pitx2 in the postnatal atrium while leaving its developmental function intact. Unstressed adult Pitx2 homozygous mutant mice display variable R-R interval with diminished P-wave amplitude characteristic of sinus node dysfunction, an atrial fibrillation risk factor in human patients. An integrated genomics approach in the adult heart revealed Pitx2 target genes encoding cell junction proteins, ion channels, and critical transcriptional regulators. Importantly, many Pitx2 target genes have been implicated in human atrial fibrillation by genome wide association studies. Immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy studies in adult Pitx2 mutant mice revealed structural remodeling of the intercalated disc characteristic of human atrial fibrillation patients. Conclusions Our findings, revealing that Pitx2 has genetically separable postnatal and developmental functions, unveil direct Pitx2 target genes that include channel and calcium handling genes as well as genes that stabilize the intercalated disc in postnatal atrium. PMID:24395921
Cannon, Chris; Ezekowitz, Michael D; Granger, Christopher
Approximately 15% to 25% or 75,000 ischemic strokes are attributed to atrial fibrillation annually within the United States. Atrial fibrillation is the most frequently diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia and affects more than 2.66 million Americans. Moreover, atrial fibrillation is associated with a 1.5 to 1.9-fold higher risk of death due to its strong correlation with thromboembolic events. Because of the attributed increased morbidity and mortality, challenges that concern identification of patients at risk for thromboembolic events from atrial fibrillation must be addressed. These challenges include compliance to performance measures, adherence to guidelines, adequate prevention and early control of co-morbidities that affect the progression of atrial fibrillation and associated risks, early initiation of treatment, and successful evaluation of associated risks of bleeding, primary or recurrent stroke, and patient awareness and compliance. This multimedia educational webcast will discuss the state of affairs with respect to antithrombotic therapies and new anticoagulants. The webcast will also review factors influencing physician use of anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation. Clinical decision making and lessons learned from the expert faculty is also included.
Lesbre, J P
Transoesophageal echocardiography is essential for the diagnosis of left atrial thrombosis and its precursors (dense spontaneous contrast--reduced auricular emptying velocities) and for the diagnosis of complex aortic atheroma. The sensitivity and specificity of transoesophageal echocardiography for the diagnosis of left atrial thrombus are about 100% and about 90% for that of aortic atheroma. The formal indications for transoesophageal echocardiography before cardioversion are: atrial fibrillation complicated by stroke or a recent systemic embolism: atrial fibrillation complicated by mitral valve disease as the thrombo-embolic risk is major in this context: atrial fibrillation with a high thromboembolic risk: a history of stroke, presence of cardiac failure, diabetes, permanent hypertension, a very dilated left atrium (> or = 50 mm): apparently isolated atrial fibrillation for which long term anticoagulant therapy is hoped to be avoided. On the other hand, in recent, uncomplicated, non-valvular atrial fibrillation, a common fallacy should be corrected: transoesophageal echocardiography does not improve the safety of electrical cardioversion. With similar durations of prior anticoagulant therapy. Over a 3 week period, the frequency of thromboembolic complications is the same whether or not transoesophageal echocardiography is performed before cardioversion (0.8% in both groups of the SEIDL study). With short periods of anticoagulant therapy before cardioversion, there is a higher thromboembolic complication and mortality rate (ACUTE study). The safety of cardioversion is not related to the practice of prior transoesophageal echocardiography but to strict and efficacious anticoagulation for a period of 3 weeks before cardioversion.
Platonov, Pyotr G; Stridh, Martin; de Melis, Mirko; Urban, Lubos; Carlson, Jonas; Corbucci, Giorgio; Holmqvist, Fredrik
Atrial fibrillatory rate (AFR) can predict outcome of interventions for atrial fibrillation (AF); however, AFR behavior at AF onset in humans is poorly described. We studied AFR during spontaneous AF episodes in patients with lone paroxysmal AF who received implantable loop recorders and had AF episodes of 1 hour or more recorded (n = 4). Mean AFR per minute was assessed from continuous implantable loop recorder electrocardiogram using spatiotemporal QRST cancellation and time-frequency analysis. Atrial fibrillatory rate increased from 290 ± 20 to 326 ± 39 fibrillations per minute during the first 3 hours (P<.05) and reached plateau then. Atrial fibrillatory rate beyond the initial 3 hours can, therefore, be considered stable and may be evaluated for prediction of intervention effect.
Mina Md Facc Fhrs, Adel F; L Warnecke Pa-C, Nicholas
Background: Pulmonary Vein Antral isolation (PVAI) is currently the standard of care for both paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation ablation. Reconnection to the pulmonary vein is the most common cause of recurrence of atrial fibrillation. Achieving the endpoint of bidirectional block (BDB) for cavotricuspid isthmus dependant flutter has improved our outcomes for atrial flutter ablation. With this we tried to achieve long delays in the pulmonary veins antral lines prior to complete isolation comparable to those delays found in patient with bidirectional block of atrial flutter lines. Study Objective:The objective of this paper was to evaluate feasibility and efficacy of achieving Bidirectional long delays in pulmonary vein antral lines prior to Bidirectional Block in patient with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Method: A retrospective analysis was performed on patients who had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation procedures at Unity Point Methodist from January 2015 to January 2016. 20 consecutive patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation who had AF ablation using the Bi-Bi technique were evaluated. Result: Mean age was 63, number of antiarrhythmic used prior to ablation was 1.4, mean left atrial size was 38 mm. Mean chads score was 1.3. Mean EF was 53%. Long delays in the left antral circumferential lines were achieved with mean delay of 142 milliseconds +/-100. Also long delays in the right antral circumferential lines were achieved with mean delay of 150 milliseconds +/-80. 95 % (19/20) of patients were free of any atrial arrhythmias and were off antiarrhythmic medications for AF post procedure. There was only one transient complication in one patient who developed a moderate pericardial effusion that was successfully drained with no hemodynamic changes. The only patient who had recurrence was found to have asymptomatic AF with burden on his device <1%, this patient was also found to have non PV triggers for his AF. In patients with only PV triggered AF
Kiani, Jawad; Holmes, David R
The pathophysiologic mechanism of thromboembolic stroke in the setting of non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) resides in the left atrial appendage (LAA). In this setting, approximately 90 % of all strokes originate from this structure. Percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) therapy has recently emerged as an important strategy for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular AF. Systemic anticoagulation therapy in this AF population, while effective, is associated with a significant bleeding risk, drug compliance issues, and limited reversal strategies. In this manuscript, we will review the percutaneous devices and techniques that allow endovascular closure of the LAA, including their efficacy in stroke prevention, the safety profile of these local site-specific therapies, comparison of the multiple approaches being studied, the index patient populations involved, and long-term follow-up in comparison with systemic anticoagulation therapy. The percutaneous LAAO approach indeed represents an exciting and revolutionary advance in the field of stroke prevention in AF.
Lee, Jeon; Song, Mi-hye; Shin, Dong-gu; Lee, Kyoung-joung
In this paper, an event synchronous adaptive filter (ESAF) is proposed to estimate atrial activity (AA) from a single-lead AF ECG in real time. The proposed ESAF is a kind of adaptive filter designed to have the reference fed with the impulse train synchronized with the R peak in a raw atrial fibrillation (AF) ECG and to input the timely delayed AF ECG into the primary input. To assess the performance, for ten simulated AF ECGs, the cross-correlation coefficient (ρ) and the normalized mean square error (NMSE) between estimated AAs and ten original simulated AAs were calculated and, for ten real AF ECGs, the ventricular residue (VR) in QRS interval and similarity (S) in non-QRS interval were computed. As a result, these four parameters were revealed as ρ = 0.938 ± 0.016 and NMSE = 0.243 ± 0.051 for simulated AF ECGs and VR = 1.190 ± 0.476 and S = 0.967 ± 0.041 for real AF ECGs. These results were found to be better than those of the averaged beat subtraction (ABS) method, which had been previously considered the only way to estimate AA automatically in real time. In conclusion, even with single-lead AF ECGs, the proposed method estimated AAs accurately and calculated the atrial fibrillatory frequencies, the most valuable index in AF maintenance and therapy evaluation, with a remarkably low computational cost.
Tanabe, Yasuko; Kawamura, Yuichiro; Sakamoto, Naka; Sato, Nobuyuki; Kikuchi, Kenjiro; Hasebe, Naoyuki
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the ideal control of atrial fibrillation (AF) associated with hypertensive patients depends on the usage of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors or whether it occurs regardless of the kind of antihypertensive agents used. The control of AF was compared in 112 outpatients between 1) those with or without the administration of RAS inhibitors, and 2) those with an ideal or poor control of the blood pressure (BP) regardless of the kind of antihypertensive therapy used. The therapies with or without RAS inhibitors did not yield any significant difference in the AF control states, even though RAS inhibitors had been administered to the patient group with a high proportion of organic heart disease. The ideal BP control group exhibited a significantly better AF control in comparison to the poor BP control group. The former group had a significantly smaller left atrial diameter determined by ultrasonic echocardiography. BP control itself may essentially be important for preventing AF in the general patient population. Poor BP control seemed to have an affect on worsening AF possibly via left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, followed by left atrial overload.
Pytkowski, Marciusz; Jankowska, Agnieszka; Kraska, Alicja; Sterliński, Maciej; Kowalik, Ilona; Krzyzanowski, Wojciech; Szwed, Hanna
Aim of this prospective study was to assess quality of life (QoL), left ventricular (LV) function and exercise performance in two groups of patients (pts) with atrial fibrillation (Af) treated with: radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFA) and antiarrhythmic drugs (AA). Between 1996 and 2000 - 74 patients, 28 women, with drug refractory Af were enrolled by clinical indications for two modes of therapy: RFA and AA. RFA group consisted of 38 pts, 63.7 +/- 11.5 years old: 28 pts with RF AV Node ablation and pacemaker implantation (PI) and 10 pts with AV Node modification or right atrial isthmus RF ablation due to Af conversion to atrial flutter (Aflu) during medical therapy. AA group consisted of 36 pts, aged 59.7 +/- 13.8 years. Patients from RFA group suffered significantly more serious diseases than pts from AA group. No significant (sign.) differences between two groups were found in age, gender, arrhythmia history and number of AA taken. Pts were analyzed before entry, after 3 and 12 months of follow-up (3 mo. FU, 12 mo. FU) with following indices: LV function (Echo: EF & FS), exercise performance (treadmill test), QoL questionnaires, number of hospital admissions connected to arrhythmia or procedures (RFA & PI), number of AA drugs taken in RFA group. RFA group: Two deaths occurred due to end stage respiratory insufficiency (COPD), one pt required reposition of pacemaker lead. AA group: 3 pts required RFA due to uncontrolled Af/Aflu (AV Node ablation with PI - 1 pt, right atrial isthmus ablation - 2 pts). Analysis of two patients groups: LV function: Sign. improvement (EF & FS) in both groups in 12 mo. FU; Exercise performance: no sign. changes in 3 and 12 mo. FU. QoL: Arrhythmia scale: 3 mo. FU sign. reduction in both groups; 12 mo. FU reduction in RFA group only; Anxiety scale: 3 and 12 mo. FU sign. reduction of anxiety level in RFA group; Exercise and activity scales: 3 and 12 mo. FU sign. improvement in RFA group. During 3 and 12 mo. FU sign. less pts from RFA
Heigl, F; Steinbeck, G; Rienmüller, R; Kemkes, B M; Klinner, W
Atrial fibrillation occurred in a 27-year-old patient with a history of globular cardiac enlargement since childhood. Because of the probable causal relationship between the preexisting heart disease-which was supposed to be an enlargement of the left atrium-and the rhythm disturbance, we recommended a surgical intervention. Cardiac surgery revealed a congenital aneurysm of the left atrial appendage which could be resected without any complication. Postoperatively, atrial fibrillation had returned to regular sinus rhythm. The bad prognosis with a high risk of systemic embolism is the reason why early cardiac surgery should be performed after diagnosis of this rare anomaly (20 reported cases) of the left atrium.
Douketis, James D.; Spyropoulos, Alex C.; Kaatz, Scott; Becker, Richard C.; Caprini, Joseph A.; Dunn, Andrew S.; Garcia, David A.; Jacobson, Alan; Jaffer, Amir K.; Kong, David F.; Schulman, Sam; Turpie, Alexander G.G.; Hasselblad, Vic; Ortel, Thomas L.
BACKGROUND It is uncertain whether bridging anticoagulation is necessary for patients with atrial fibrillation who need an interruption in warfarin treatment for an elective operation or other elective invasive procedure. We hypothesized that forgoing bridging anticoagulation would be noninferior to bridging with low-molecular-weight heparin for the prevention of perioperative arterial thromboembolism and would be superior to bridging with respect to major bleeding. METHODS We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which, after perioperative interruption of warfarin therapy, patients were randomly assigned to receive bridging anticoagulation therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin (100 IU of dalteparin per kilogram of body weight) or matching placebo administered subcutaneously twice daily, from 3 days before the procedure until 24 hours before the procedure and then for 5 to 10 days after the procedure. Warfarin treatment was stopped 5 days before the procedure and was resumed within 24 hours after the procedure. Follow-up of patients continued for 30 days after the procedure. The primary outcomes were arterial thromboembolism (stroke, systemic embolism, or transient ischemic attack) and major bleeding. RESULTS In total, 1884 patients were enrolled, with 950 assigned to receive no bridging therapy and 934 assigned to receive bridging therapy. The incidence of arterial thromboembolism was 0.4% in the no-bridging group and 0.3% in the bridging group (risk difference, 0.1 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.6 to 0.8; P = 0.01 for noninferiority). The incidence of major bleeding was 1.3% in the no-bridging group and 3.2% in the bridging group (relative risk, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.78; P = 0.005 for superiority). CONCLUSIONS In patients with atrial fibrillation who had warfarin treatment interrupted for an elective operation or other elective invasive procedure, forgoing bridging anticoagulation was noninferior to
Orr, Nathan; Arnaout, Rima; Gula, Lorne J; Spears, Danna A; Leong-Sit, Peter; Li, Qiuju; Tarhuni, Wadea; Reischauer, Sven; Chauhan, Vijay S; Borkovich, Matthew; Uppal, Shaheen; Adler, Arnon; Coughlin, Shaun R; Stainier, Didier Y R; Gollob, Michael H
Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, is a growing epidemic with substantial morbidity and economic burden. Mechanisms underlying vulnerability to AF remain poorly understood, which contributes to the current lack of highly effective therapies. Recognizing mechanistic subtypes of AF may guide an individualized approach to patient management. Here, we describe a family with a previously unreported syndrome characterized by early-onset AF (age <35 years), conduction disease and signs of a primary atrial myopathy. Phenotypic penetrance was complete in all mutation carriers, although complete disease expressivity appears to be age-dependent. We show that this syndrome is caused by a novel, heterozygous p.Glu11Lys mutation in the atrial-specific myosin light chain gene MYL4. In zebrafish, mutant MYL4 leads to disruption of sarcomeric structure, atrial enlargement and electrical abnormalities associated with human AF. These findings describe the cause of a rare subtype of AF due to a primary, atrial-specific sarcomeric defect.
Wu, Yi-Ling; Saver, Jeffrey L.; Chen, Pei-Chun; Lee, Jiann-Der; Wang, Hui-Hsuan; Rao, Neal M.; Lee, Meng; Ovbiagele, Bruce
Abstract It remains unclear whether statin therapy should be applied to ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation. The objective of this study was to clarify whether statin therapy can influence the prognosis in recent ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation. We identified ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation between 2001 and 2011 from Taiwan National Health Insurance Database. Patients not treated with statins during the first 90 days after the index stroke were matched to patients treated with statins in the first 90 days in a 2:1 ratio on the basis of age, sex, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, estimated National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, use of anticoagulant, and year of their entry into the cohort. The primary outcome was the first event of recurrent stroke, and the secondary outcome was in-hospital death. A total of 1546 atrial fibrillation patients with statin therapy in the first 90 days poststroke and 3092 matched atrial fibrillation nonstatin controls were enrolled for this analysis. During the median 2.4-year follow-up, the risk of recurrent stroke was not different between subjects receiving versus not receiving statin therapy (hazard ratios = 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.88 to 1.15). However, patients with atrial fibrillation receiving statin therapy had a reduced risk for death during any hospitalization throughout the long-term follow-up period (hazard ratios = 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.61 to 0.89). Among ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation, statin therapy initiated during the acute to subacute poststroke stage did not alter the rate of stroke recurrence but was associated with a decreased rate of in-hospital death. PMID:28151869
Wu, Yi-Ling; Saver, Jeffrey L; Chen, Pei-Chun; Lee, Jiann-Der; Wang, Hui-Hsuan; Rao, Neal M; Lee, Meng; Ovbiagele, Bruce
It remains unclear whether statin therapy should be applied to ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation. The objective of this study was to clarify whether statin therapy can influence the prognosis in recent ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation.We identified ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation between 2001 and 2011 from Taiwan National Health Insurance Database. Patients not treated with statins during the first 90 days after the index stroke were matched to patients treated with statins in the first 90 days in a 2:1 ratio on the basis of age, sex, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, estimated National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, use of anticoagulant, and year of their entry into the cohort. The primary outcome was the first event of recurrent stroke, and the secondary outcome was in-hospital death.A total of 1546 atrial fibrillation patients with statin therapy in the first 90 days poststroke and 3092 matched atrial fibrillation nonstatin controls were enrolled for this analysis. During the median 2.4-year follow-up, the risk of recurrent stroke was not different between subjects receiving versus not receiving statin therapy (hazard ratios = 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.88 to 1.15). However, patients with atrial fibrillation receiving statin therapy had a reduced risk for death during any hospitalization throughout the long-term follow-up period (hazard ratios = 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.61 to 0.89).Among ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation, statin therapy initiated during the acute to subacute poststroke stage did not alter the rate of stroke recurrence but was associated with a decreased rate of in-hospital death.
Pesaro, Antonio Eduardo; de Matos Soeiro, Alexandre; Serrano, Carlos Vicente; Giraldez, Roberto Rocha; Ladeira, Renata Teixeira; Nicolau, José Carlos
INTRODUCTION: Oral β-blockers improve the prognosis of patients with acute myocardial infarction, while atrial fibrillation worsens the prognosis of this population. The reduction of atrial fibrillation incidence in patients treated with β-blockers could at least in part explain the benefits of this drug. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of β-blockers on the incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients with acute myocardial infarction. METHODS: We analyzed 1401 patients with acute myocardial infarction and evaluated the occurrence or absence of atrial fibrillation, the use of oral β-blockers and mortality during the first 24 hours. RESULTS: a) The use of β-blockers was inversely correlated with the presence of atrial fibrillation (ρ = 0.004; OR = 0.54). b) Correlations with mortality were as follows: 31.5% in patients with atrial fibrillation, 9.2% in those without atrial fibrillation (ρ < 0.001; Odds Ratio = 4.52), and 17.5% in patients not treated with β-blockers and 6.7% in those who received the drug (ρ < 0.001; OR = 0.34). c) Adjusted Models: The presence of atrial fibrillation was independently correlated with mortality (OR = 2.48, ρ = 0.002). The use of β-blockers was inversely and independently correlated with mortality (OR = 0.53; ρ = 0.002). The patients who used β-blockers showed a lower risk of atrial fibrillation (OR = 0.59; ρ = 0.029) in the adjusted model. CONCLUSION: The presence of atrial fibrillation and the absence of oral β-blockers increased in-hospital mortality in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Oral β-blockers reduced the incidence of atrial fibrillation, which might be at least partially responsible for the drug’s benefit. PMID:20360916
Trifunovic, Danijela; Vujisic-Tesic, Bosiljka; Vuckovic, Maja; Ostojic, Miodrag; Ristic, Arsen; Bogdanovic, Andrija; Mihaljevic, Biljana; Andjelic, Bosko; Perunicic-Jovanovic, Maja; Antonic, Zelimir
Cardiac involvement by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is not uncommon, however rarely diagnosed during life due to nonspecific clinical presentation. We report a case of secondary cardiac lymphoma in patient who presented with new-onset atrial fibrillation. Cardiac lymphoma was in a form of bulky right atrial mass, infiltrating the atrial septum and cavo-atrial junction with concomitant mild pericardial effusion. In the present case, we illustrate complementary role of transthoracic, transesophageal echocardiography and multislice CT scan with three-dimensional reconstruction, in detection and evaluation of secondary cardiac tumor. Usefulness of echocardiography to follow up the effects of chemotherapy is also shown.
Studies on patients, large animal models and transgenic mouse models have shown a strong association of atrial fibrosis with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, it is unclear whether there is a causal relationship between atrial fibrosis and AF or whether these events appear as a result of independen...
Zhou, Genqing; Chen, Songwen; Ouyang, Ping; Liu, Shaowen
Renal denervation (RD) was reported to reduce the susceptibility of atrial fibrillation (AF), but the underlying mechanism has not been well understood. This study was performed to investigate the effect of RD on the inducibility of AF in a rabbit model for atrial fibrosis and to explore the potential mechanisms. Thirty-five rabbits were randomly assigned into sham-operated group (n = 12), abdominal aortic constriction (AAC) group (n = 12) and AAC with RD (AAC-RD) group (n = 11). The incidence of AF induced by burst pacing in atriums was determined. Blood was collected to measure the levels of rennin, angiotensin II and aldosterone. Atrial samples were preserved to evaluate protein and gene expression of collagen, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Our data suggested cardiac structure remodeling and atrial fibrosis were successfully induced by AAC. Compared with the AAC group, the AAC-RD rabbits had smaller ascending aortic diameter and left ventricular end-systolic diameter. For burst pacing at the left atrium (LA), AF was induced in two of the 12 rabbits in the sham-operated group, 10 of the 12 rabbits in the AAC group, and 2 of the 11 rabbits in the AAC-RD group, with great difference among the three groups (P = 0.001). The percentage of LA burst stimulations with induced AF achieved 47.2% in the AAC group, which was higher than those in both the AAC-RD (12.1%) and the Sham-operated (5.6%) groups. Significantly increasing intercellular space in the AAC group (P<0.001) compared with the sham-operated rabbits. RD clearly decreased the volume fraction of collagen in LA and right atrium compared with that of the AAC group (P< 0.01). AAC-induced elevation of collagen I, CTGF and TGF-β1 was suppressed by RD. In conclusion, RD suppressed the inducibility of AF in a rabbit model for pressure associated atrial fibrosis, potentially by modulating renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and decreasing pro-fibrotic factors
Karcher, Rachel; Berman, Adam E; Gross, Hartmut; Hess, David C; Jauch, Edward C; Viser, Paul E; Solenski, Nina J; Wolf, Andrew M D
Disparities in atrial fibrillation (AF)-related stroke and mortality persist, especially racial disparities, within the US "Stroke Belt." This study identified barriers to optimal stroke prevention to develop a framework for clinician education. A comprehensive educational needs assessment was developed focusing on clinicians within the Stroke Belt. The mixed qualitative-quantitative approach included regional surveys and one-on-one clinician interviews. Identified contributors to disparities included implicit racial biases, lack of awareness of racial disparities in AF stroke risk, and lack of effective multicultural awareness and training. Additional barriers affecting disparities included patient medical mistrust and clinician-patient communication challenges. General barriers included lack of consistency in assessing stroke and anticoagulant-related bleeding risk, underuse of standardized risk assessment tools, discomfort with novel anticoagulants, and patient education deficiencies. Effective cultural competency training is one strategy to reduce disparities in AF-related stroke and mortality by improving implicit clinician bias, addressing medical mistrust, and improving clinician-patient communication.
Ahmad, Saad; Wilt, Heath
There is a clinically staggering burden of disease stemming from cerebrovascular events, of which a majority are ischemic in nature and many are precipitated by atrial fibrillation (AF). AF can occur in isolation or in association with myocardial or structural heart disease. In the latter case, and when considering health at an international level, congenital and acquired valve-related diseases are frequent contributors to the current pandemic of AF and its clinical impact. Guidelines crafted by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, European Society of Cardiology and Heart Rhythm Society underscore the use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) among patients with valvular heart disease, particularly in the presence of concomitant AF, to reduce the risk of ischemic stroke of cardioembolic origin; however, the non-VKAs, also referred to as direct, target-specific or new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), have not been actively studied in this particular population. In fact, each of the new agents is approved in patients with AF not caused by a valve problem. The aim of our review is to carefully examine the available evidence from pivotal phase 3 clinical trials of NOACs and determine how they might perform in patients with AF and concomitant valvular heart disease.
Ferreira, Cátia; Providência, Rui; Ferreira, Maria João; Gonçalves, Lino Manuel
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with an unfavorable prognosis, increasing the risk of stroke and death. Although traditionally associated with cardiovascular diseases, there is increasing evidence of high incidence of AF in patients with highly prevalent noncardiovascular diseases, such as cancer, sepsis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obstructive sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease. Therefore, considerable number of patients has been affected by these comorbidities, leading to an increased risk of adverse outcomes. The authors performed a systematic review of the literature aiming to better elucidate the interaction between these conditions. Several mechanisms seem to contribute to the concomitant presence of AF and noncardiovascular diseases. Comorbidities, advanced age, autonomic dysfunction, electrolyte disturbance and inflammation are common to these conditions and may predispose to AF. The treatment of AF in these patients represents a clinical challenge, especially in terms of antithrombotic therapy, since the scores for stratification of thromboembolic risk, such as the CHADS2 and CHA2DS2VASc scores, and the scores for hemorrhagic risk, like the HAS-BLED score have limitations when applied in these conditions. The evidence in this area is still scarce and further investigations to elucidate aspects like epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of AF in noncardiovascular diseases are still needed. PMID:26577719
Peters, Nicholas S.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm and the single biggest cause of stroke. Ablation, destroying regions of the atria, is applied largely empirically and can be curative but with a disappointing clinical success rate. We design a simple model of activation wave front propagation on an anisotropic structure mimicking the branching network of heart muscle cells. This integration of phenomenological dynamics and pertinent structure shows how AF emerges spontaneously when the transverse cell-to-cell coupling decreases, as occurs with age, beyond a threshold value. We identify critical regions responsible for the initiation and maintenance of AF, the ablation of which terminates AF. The simplicity of the model allows us to calculate analytically the risk of arrhythmia and express the threshold value of transversal cell-to-cell coupling as a function of the model parameters. This threshold value decreases with increasing refractory period by reducing the number of critical regions which can initiate and sustain microreentrant circuits. These biologically testable predictions might inform ablation therapies and arrhythmic risk assessment. PMID:25635565
Kirchhof, Paulus; Calkins, Hugh
Catheter ablation is increasingly offered to patients who suffer from symptoms due to atrial fibrillation (AF), based on a growing body of evidence illustrating its efficacy compared with antiarrhythmic drug therapy. Approximately one-third of AF ablation procedures are currently performed in patients with persistent or long-standing persistent AF. Here, we review the available information to guide catheter ablation in these more chronic forms of AF. We identify the following principles: Our clinical ability to discriminate paroxysmal and persistent AF is limited. Pulmonary vein isolation is a reasonable and effective first approach for catheter ablation of persistent AF. Other ablation strategies are being developed and need to be properly evaluated in controlled, multicentre trials. Treatment of concomitant conditions promoting recurrent AF by life style interventions and medical therapy should be a routine adjunct to catheter ablation of persistent AF. Early rhythm control therapy has a biological rationale and trials evaluating its value are underway. There is a clear need to generate more evidence for the best approach to ablation of persistent AF beyond pulmonary vein isolation in the form of adequately powered controlled multi-centre trials. PMID:27389907
Lin, Honghuang; Mueller-Nurasyid, Martina; Smith, Albert V.; Arking, Dan E.; Barnard, John; Bartz, Traci M.; Lunetta, Kathryn L.; Lohman, Kurt; Kleber, Marcus E.; Lubitz, Steven A.; Geelhoed, Bastiaan; Trompet, Stella; Niemeijer, Maartje N.; Kacprowski, Tim; Chasman, Daniel I.; Klarin, Derek; Sinner, Moritz F.; Waldenberger, Melanie; Meitinger, Thomas; Harris, Tamara B.; Launer, Lenore J.; Soliman, Elsayed Z.; Chen, Lin Y.; Smith, Jonathan D.; Van Wagoner, David R.; Rotter, Jerome I.; Psaty, Bruce M.; Xie, Zhijun; Hendricks, Audrey E.; Ding, Jingzhong; Delgado, Graciela E.; Verweij, Niek; van der Harst, Pim; Macfarlane, Peter W.; Ford, Ian; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, André; Heeringa, Jan; Franco, Oscar H.; Kors, Jan A.; Weiss, Stefan; Völzke, Henry; Rose, Lynda M.; Natarajan, Pradeep; Kathiresan, Sekar; Kääb, Stefan; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Alonso, Alvaro; Chung, Mina K.; Heckbert, Susan R.; Benjamin, Emelia J.; Liu, Yongmei; März, Winfried; Rienstra, Michiel; Jukema, J. Wouter; Stricker, Bruno H.; Dörr, Marcus; Albert, Christine M.; Ellinor, Patrick T.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heritable disease that affects more than thirty million individuals worldwide. Extensive efforts have been devoted to the study of genetic determinants of AF. The objective of our study is to examine the effect of gene-gene interaction on AF susceptibility. We performed a large-scale association analysis of gene-gene interactions with AF in 8,173 AF cases, and 65,237 AF-free referents collected from 15 studies for discovery. We examined putative interactions between genome-wide SNPs and 17 known AF-related SNPs. The top interactions were then tested for association in an independent cohort for replication, which included more than 2,363 AF cases and 114,746 AF-free referents. One interaction, between rs7164883 at the HCN4 locus and rs4980345 at the SLC28A1 locus, was found to be significantly associated with AF in the discovery cohorts (interaction OR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.27–1.65, P = 4.3 × 10–8). Eight additional gene-gene interactions were also marginally significant (P < 5 × 10–7). However, none of the top interactions were replicated. In summary, we did not find significant interactions that were associated with AF susceptibility. Future increases in sample size and denser genotyping might facilitate the identification of gene-gene interactions associated with AF. PMID:27824142
Miragoli, Michele; Glukhov, Alexey V.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) associated with fibrosis is characterized by the appearance of interstitial myofibroblasts. These cells are responsible for the uncontrolled deposition of the extracellular matrix, which pathologically separate cardiomyocyte bundles. The enhanced fibrosis is thought to contribute to arrhythmias “indirectly” because a collagenous septum is a passive substrate for propagation, resulting in impulse conduction block and/or zigzag conduction. However, the emerging results demonstrate that myofibroblasts in vitro also promote arrhythmogenesis due to direct implications upon cardiomyocyte electrophysiology. This electrical interference may be considered beneficial as it resolves any conduction blocks; however, the passive properties of myofibroblasts might cause a delay in impulse propagation, thus promoting AF due to discontinuous slow conduction. Moreover, low-polarized myofibroblasts reduce, via cell-density dependence, the fast driving inward current for cardiac impulse conduction, therefore resulting in arrhythmogenic uniformly slow propagation. Critically, the subsequent reduction in cardiomyocytes resting membrane potential in vitro significantly increases the likelihood of ectopic activity. Myofibroblast densities and the degree of coupling at cellular border zones also impact upon this likelihood. By considering future in vivo studies, which identify myofibroblasts “per se” as a novel targets for cardiac arrhythmias, this review aims to describe the implications of noncardiomyocyte view in the context of AF. PMID:26229964
Tao, Hui; Shi, Kai-Hu; Yang, Jing-Jing; Li, Jun
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia. AF is a complex disease that results from genetic and environmental factors and their interactions. In recent years, numerous studies have shown that epigenetic mechanisms significantly participate in AF pathogenesis. Even though a poor understanding of the molecular and electrophysiologic mechanisms of AF, accumulated evidence has suggested that the relevance of epigenetic changes in the development of AF. The aim of this review is to describe the present knowledge about the epigenetic regulatory features significantly participates in AF, and look ahead on new perspectives of epigenetic mechanisms research. Epigenetic regulatory features such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA influence gene expression by epigenetic mechanisms and by directly binding to various factor response elements in the target gene promoters. Given the role of epigenetic alterations in regulating genes, there is potential for the integration of factors-induced epigenetic alterations as informative factors in the risk assessment process. In this review, new insight into the epigenetic mechanisms in AF pathogenesis is discussed, with special emphasis on DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA. Further studies are needed to reveal the potential targets of epigenetic mechanisms, and it can be developed as a therapeutic target for AF.
Demir, Mehmet; Demir, Canan; Uyan, Umut; Melek, Mehmet
Background Several studies have demonstrated that higher serum bilirubin inhibits the inflammation and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells; also there is a relationship between serum bilirubin and cardiovascular disease. However, the relationship between bilirubin and atrial fibrillation (AF) is still unknown. In our study, we compared serum bilirubin, between nonvalvular AF patients and controls. Materials and Method One hundred and two patients with nonvalvular chronic AF without any other cardiovascular disease (mean age 62.51 ± 5.88) were included in our study. One hundred age-matched healthy people with sinus rhythm were accepted as control groups (mean age 61.35 ± 5.44). Routine biochemical parameters and serum bilirubin levels were performed. Results No statistically significant difference was found between two groups in terms of basic characteristics. Total, direct and indirect serum bilirubin levels were significantly lower among persons with AF compared to controls (0.82 ± 0.8 vs. 0.48 ± 0.5, 0.30 ± 0.2 vs. 0.19 ± 0.1 and 0.52 ± 0.5 vs. 0.29 ± 0.3 mg/dL; all P < 0.001, respectively). Conclusion As a result, our study revealed a relationship between serum bilirubin and nonvalvular AF.
Turley, Sarah L; Francis, Kerry E; Lowe, Denise K; Cahoon, William D
Control of ventricular rate is recommended for patients with paroxysmal, persistent, or permanent atrial fibrillation (AF). Existing rate-control options, including beta-blockers, nondihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, and digoxin, are limited by adverse hemodynamic effects and their ability to attain target heart rate (HR). Ivabradine, a novel HR-controlling agent, decreases HR through deceleration of conduction through If ('funny') channels, and is approved for HR reduction in heart failure patients with ejection fraction less than 35% and elevated HR, despite optimal pharmacological treatment. Because If channels were thought to be expressed solely in sinoatrial (SA) nodal tissue, ivabradine was not investigated in heart failure patients with concomitant AF. Subsequent identification of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel 4 (HCN4), the primary gene responsible for If current expression throughout the myocardium, stimulated interest in the potential role of ivabradine for ventricular rate control in AF. Preclinical studies of ivabradine in animal models with induced AF demonstrated a reduction in HR, with no significant worsening of QT interval or mean arterial pressure. Preliminary human data suggest that ivabradine provides HR reduction without associated hemodynamic complications in patients with AF. Questions remain regarding efficacy, safety, optimal dosing, and length of therapy in these patients. Prospective, randomized studies are needed to determine if ivabradine has a role as a rate-control treatment in patients with AF.
Ahmad, Saad; Wilt, Heath
There is a clinically staggering burden of disease stemming from cerebrovascular events, of which a majority are ischemic in nature and many are precipitated by atrial fibrillation (AF). AF can occur in isolation or in association with myocardial or structural heart disease. In the latter case, and when considering health at an international level, congenital and acquired valve-related diseases are frequent contributors to the current pandemic of AF and its clinical impact. Guidelines crafted by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, European Society of Cardiology and Heart Rhythm Society underscore the use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) among patients with valvular heart disease, particularly in the presence of concomitant AF, to reduce the risk of ischemic stroke of cardioembolic origin; however, the non-VKAs, also referred to as direct, target-specific or new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), have not been actively studied in this particular population. In fact, each of the new agents is approved in patients with AF not caused by a valve problem. The aim of our review is to carefully examine the available evidence from pivotal phase 3 clinical trials of NOACs and determine how they might perform in patients with AF and concomitant valvular heart disease. PMID:27347228
Massaro, Ayrton R.; Lippp, Gregory Y. H.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, with an estimated prevalence of 1-2% in North America and Europe. The increased prevalence of AF in Latin America is associated with an ageing general population, along with poor control of key risk factors, including hypertension. As a result, stroke prevalence and associated mortality have increased dramatically in the region. Therefore, the need for effective anticoagulation strategies in Latin America is clear. The aim of this review is to provide a contemporary overview of anticoagulants for stroke prevention. The use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs, eg, warfarin) and aspirin in the prevention of stroke in patients with AF in Latin America remains common, although around one fifth of all AF patients receive no anticoagulation. Warfarin use is complicated by a lack of access to effective monitoring services coupled with an unpredictable pharmacokinetic profile. The overuse of aspirin is associated with significant bleeding risks and reduced efficacy for stroke prevention in this patient group. The non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACbs) represent a potential means of overcoming many limitations associated with VKA and aspirin use, including a reduction in the need for monitoring and a reduced risk of hemorrhagic events. The ultimate decision of which anticoagulant drug to utilize in AF patients depends on a multitude of factors. More research is needed to appreciate the impact of these factors in the Latin American population and thereby reduce the burden of AF-associated stroke in this region. PMID:27533256
Diener, H C; Hajjar, K; Frank, B; Perrey, M
Oral anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists (warfarin, phenprocoumon) is successful in both primary and secondary stroke prevention for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), yielding a 60-70% relative reduction in stroke risk compared with placebo and a mortality reduction of 26%. However, these agents have a number of well documented shortcomings. This review describes the current landscape and developments in stroke prevention in patients with AF with special reference to secondary prevention. A number of new drugs for oral anticoagulation that do not exhibit the limitations of vitamin K antagonists are under investigation. These include direct factor Xa inhibitors and direct thrombin inhibitors. Recent studies (RE-LY, ROCKET-AF, AVERROES, ARISTOTLE) provide promising results for these new agents including higher efficacy and significantly lower incidences of intracranial bleeding compared with warfarin. The new substances show similar results in secondary as well as in primary stroke prevention in patients with AF. The new anticoagulants add to the therapeutic options for patients with AF and offer a number of advantages over warfarin for both clinician and patient, including a favorable bleeding profile and convenience of use. Consideration of these new anticoagulants will improve clinical decision-making.
Bacharach, S.L.; Green, M.V.; Bonow, R.O.; Findley, S.L.; Ostrow, H.G.; Johnston, G.S.
The assumptions necessary to perform ECG-gated cardiac studies are seemingly not valid for patients in atrial fibrillation (AF). To evaluate the effect of AF on equilibrium gated scintigraphy, beat-by-beat measurements of left-ventricular function were made on seven subjects in AF (mean heart rate 64 bpm), using a high-efficiency nonimaging detector. The parameters evaluated were ejection fraction (EF), time to end-systole (TES), peak rates of ejection and filling (PER,PFR), and their times of occurrence (TPER, TPFR). By averaging together single-beat values of EF, PER, etc., it was possible to determine the true mean values of these parameters. The single-beam mean values were compared with the corresponding parameters calculated from one ECG-gated time-activity curve (TAC) obtained by superimposing all the single-beat TACs irrespective of their length. For this population with slow heart rates, we find that the values for EF, etc., produced from ECG-gated time-activity curves, are very similar to those obtained from the single-beat data. Thus use of ECG gating at low heart rates may allow reliable estimation of average cardiac function even in subjects with AF.
Christensen, Kim; Manani, Kishan A.; Peters, Nicholas S.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm and the single biggest cause of stroke. Ablation, destroying regions of the atria, is applied largely empirically and can be curative but with a disappointing clinical success rate. We design a simple model of activation wave front propagation on an anisotropic structure mimicking the branching network of heart muscle cells. This integration of phenomenological dynamics and pertinent structure shows how AF emerges spontaneously when the transverse cell-to-cell coupling decreases, as occurs with age, beyond a threshold value. We identify critical regions responsible for the initiation and maintenance of AF, the ablation of which terminates AF. The simplicity of the model allows us to calculate analytically the risk of arrhythmia and express the threshold value of transversal cell-to-cell coupling as a function of the model parameters. This threshold value decreases with increasing refractory period by reducing the number of critical regions which can initiate and sustain microreentrant circuits. These biologically testable predictions might inform ablation therapies and arrhythmic risk assessment.
Lin Md, Tina; Wissner Md, Erik; Tilz Md, Roland; Rillig Md, Andreas; Mathew Md, Shibu; Rausch Md, Peter; Rausch Md, Peter; Lemes Md, Christine; Deiss Md, Sebastian; Kamioka Md, Masashi; Bucur Md, Tudor; Ouyang Md, Feifan; Kuck Md, Karl-Heinz; Metzner Md, Andreas
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Its prevalence increases with increasing age, and is one of the leading causes of thromboembolism, including ischemic stroke. The prevalence of cognitive dysfunction also increases with increasing age. Although several studies have shown a strong correlation between AF and cognitive dysfunction in patients with and without overt stroke, a direct causative link has yet to be established. Rhythm vs rate control and anticoagulation regimens have been extensively investigated, particularly with the introduction of the novel anticoagulants. With catheter ablation becoming more prevalent for the management of AF and the ongoing development of various new energy sources and catheters, an additional thromboembolism risk is introduced. As cognitive dysfunction decreases the patient's ability to self-care and manage a complex disease such as AF, this increases the burden to our healthcare system. Therefore as the prevalence of AF increases in the general population, it becomes more imperative that we strive to optimize our methods to preserve cognitive function. This review gives an overview of the current evidence behind the association of AF with cognitive dysfunction, and discusses the most up-to-date medical and procedural treatment strategies available for decreasing thromboembolism associated with AF and its treatment, which may lead to preserving cognitive function.
Tang, Sung-Chun; Huang, Pei-Wen; Hung, Chi-Sheng; Shan, Shih-Ming; Lin, Yen-Hung; Shieh, Jiann-Shing; Lai, Dar-Ming; Wu, An-Yeu; Jeng, Jiann-Shing
Atrial fibrillation (AF) detection is crucial for stroke prevention. We investigated the potential of quantitative analyses of photoplethysmogram (PPG) waveforms to identify AF. Continuous electrocardiogram (EKG) and fingertip PPG were recorded simultaneously in acute stroke patients (n = 666) admitted to an intensive care unit. Each EKG was visually labeled as AF (n = 150, 22.5%) or non-AF. Linear and nonlinear features from the pulse interval (PIN) and peak amplitude (AMP) of PPG waveforms were extracted from the first 1, 2, and 10 min of data. Logistic regression analysis revealed six independent PPG features feasibly identifying AF rhythm, including three PIN-related (mean, mean of standard deviation, and sample entropy), and three AMP-related features (mean of the root mean square of the successive differences, sample entropy, and turning point ratio) (all p < 0.01). The performance of the PPG analytic program comprising all 6 features that were extracted from the 2-min data was better than that from the 1-min data (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.972 (95% confidence interval 0.951–0.989) vs. 0.949 (0.929–0.970), p < 0.001 and was comparable to that from the 10-min data [0.973 (0.953–0.993)] for AF identification. In summary, our study established the optimal PPG analytic program in reliably identifying AF rhythm. PMID:28367965
Hajhosseiny, Reza; Matthews, Gareth K; Lip, Gregory Y H
The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and AF-related stroke is set to increase dramatically in coming decades, with developing regions such as Latin America experiencing the greatest impact. These trends are primarily driven by aging populations and by the increasing prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome describes an association between diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is in large part the result of unbalanced diet and sedentary lifestyle. These essentially modifiable risk factors are becoming more prevalent with the widespread adoption of so-called Western lifestyles. This review examines the physiology underlying the link between the metabolic syndrome and AF. Next, it highlights the importance of addressing lifestyle-related risk factors to mitigate the trend toward increasing AF prevalence. It then goes on to discuss the importance of stroke prevention therapy in patients with established AF, focusing on the relative merits of various available options for anticoagulation. Given the recent availability of comprehensive data on the 4 currently available non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant drugs, this review concludes by discussing the relative merits of specific agents in individual patient groups.
A 51-year-old male with documented atrial fibrillation who was taking dronedarone 400 mg twice daily for approximately 3 months returned to the cardiologist for an ablation procedure. Baseline liver enzymes were within normal range prior to starting the medication and increased after the 3 months of therapy. Aspartate aminotransferase increased from 31 IU/L to 98 IU/L, and alanine aminotransferase increased from 21 IU/L to 101 IU/L. Two and a half months after discontinuation of the medication, liver enzymes normalized (aspartate aminotransferase: 30 IU/L and alanine aminotransferase: 25 IU/L). The Food and Drug Administration has now alerted health-care professionals of the potential for liver injury based upon post-marketing surveillance. The chronological course of elevated liver enzymes noted in our patient is suggestive of a dronedarone-induced problem. Clinicians should have a heightened awareness of the potential for liver enzyme elevation and injury with dronedarone and should monitor enzymes periodically, especially within the first 6 months of use. PMID:27489632
Hahne, Kathrin; Mönnig, Gerold; Samol, Alexander
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with a projected number of 1 million affected subjects in Germany. Changes in age structure of the Western population allow for the assumption that the number of concerned people is going to be doubled, maybe tripled, by the year 2050. Large epidemiological investigations showed that AF leads to a significant increase in mortality and morbidity. Approximately one-third of all strokes are caused by AF and, due to thromboembolic cause, these strokes are often more severe than those caused by other etiologies. Silent brain infarction is defined as the presence of cerebral infarction in the absence of corresponding clinical symptomatology. Progress in imaging technology simplifies diagnostic procedures of these lesions and leads to a large amount of diagnosed lesions, but there is still no final conclusion about frequency, risk factors, and clinical relevance of these infarctions. The prevalence of silent strokes in patients with AF is higher compared to patients without AF, and several studies reported high incidence rates of silent strokes after AF ablation procedures. While treatment strategies to prevent clinically apparent strokes in patients with AF are well investigated, the role of anticoagulatory treatment for prevention of silent infarctions is unclear. This paper summarizes developments in diagnosis of silent brain infarction and its context to AF. PMID:27022272
Opinion statement Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in the elderly, affecting 1 in 20 adults over the age of 70 years. Stroke is a major yet highly preventable complication of AF, and the strokes related to AF often are disabling and fatal. Warfarin is the treatment of choice in high-risk patients with AF, and its superior efficacy over aspirin for preventing stroke in these patients is widely recognized. However, several eligible patients with AF are not being treated with warfarin or are being treated inadequately, largely because of concerns regarding the attendant strict monitoring, drug interactions, and risk of major bleeding. As such, alternative antithrombotic therapies that can rival or exceed the efficacy of warfarin, yet compare favorably with its administration and side effect profile, are being sought. One such strategy, the use of a combination antiplatelet regimen, for stroke prevention in high-risk patients with nonvalvular AF was investigated recently in two clinical trials. This article reviews the role of combination antiplatelet regimens in stroke prevention for patients with AF. Other therapies discussed include oral anticoagulation, single antiplatelet therapies, oral anticoagulation plus antiplatelet treatment, direct thrombin inhibitors, and factor Xa inhibitors. PMID:20461116
Orenes-Piñero, Esteban; Quintana-Giner, Miriam; Romero-Aniorte, Ana I; Valdés, Mariano; Marín, Francisco
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained chronic cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice, which increases the risk of stroke and thromboembolism and is an independent predictor of mortality. The underlying mechanisms involved in the development of AF have yet to be fully elucidated. However, once initiated, AF tends to self-perpetuate, owing to structural and electrical remodeling in the atria. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a sizable sub-group of small non-coding RNAs, which degrades or inhibits the translation of their target mRNAs, thus regulating gene expression and playing an important role in a wide range of biologic processes. Clinically, there is increasing evidence of the potential diagnostic role of miRNAs as biomarkers, representing a novel therapeutic target in AF. The aim of this review is to provide an exhaustive overview of the role of miRNAs in AF and to discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of miRNAs in this arrhythmia.
Saito, Yuichi; Kitahara, Hideki; Shoji, Toshihiro; Tokimasa, Satoshi; Nakayama, Takashi; Sugimoto, Kazumasa; Fujimoto, Yoshihide; Kobayashi, Yoshio
Intracoronary acetylcholine (ACh) provocation test is useful to diagnose vasospastic angina. However, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) often occurs during intracoronary ACh provocation test, leading to disabling symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and predictors of paroxysmal AF during the test. A total of 377 patients without persistent AF who underwent intracoronary ACh provocation test were included. Paroxysmal AF during ACh provocation test was defined as documented AF on electrocardiogram during the procedure. There were 31 patients (8%) with paroxysmal AF during the test. Of these, 11 (35%) required antiarrhythmic drugs, but none received electrical cardioversion. All of them recovered sinus rhythm within 48 h. At procedure, paroxysmal AF occurred mostly during provocation for the right coronary artery (RCA) rather than for the left coronary artery (LCA) (90 vs. 10%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that a history of paroxysmal AF (OR 4.38 CI 1.42-13.51, p = 0.01) and body mass index (OR 0.88 CI 0.78-0.99, p = 0.03) were independent predictors for occurrence of paroxysmal AF during intracoronary ACh provocation test. In conclusions, paroxysmal AF mostly occurs during ACh provocation test for the RCA, especially in patients with a history of paroxysmal AF and lower body mass index. It may be better to initially administer intracoronary ACh in the LCA when the provocation test is performed.
Bastida, Carla; Corominas, Núria; Sotoca, José Miguel; Rovira, Marina
Background Few studies assess the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in daily practice for the prevention of thromboembolic complications associated to nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF). Objectives Describe NOACs' use and analyze its prescribing pattern. Evaluate possible factors associated to adverse events (AEs) and the applicability of prescription support forms. Methods We included patients with AF treated with a NOAC during 2014 in three primary healthcare centers in Barcelona, Spain. Demographic and clinical data was collected, as well as embolic and bleeding risk and reported AEs. Results A total of 101 patients were included, with a median age of 75 years. The NOACs most frequently prescribed were dabigatran and rivaroxaban. An 87.2% of the patients were receiving the recommended dosage. A potential bleeding risk was present in 47% of the subjects. Ten AEs were reported, of which eight hemorrhages. Patients who presented an AE were >65 years and had a higher proportion of concomitant treatment and/or co-morbidities that could prompt to bleeding (p < 0.001). Conclusions Current treatment practice is according to regulatory agencies' recommendations. Close monitoring is especially needed in patients >65 years and at higher risk of bleeding. Prescription support forms help good prescribing and identifying potential individuals at high risk of AEs.
Lee, Sang Kwon; Choo, Suk Jung; Kim, Kyung Sun; Lee, Jae Won
The search for alternative epicardial energy sources in the treatment of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) is a relatively new aspect of the evolving spectrum of Maze operations. We tested the hypothesis that epicardial microwave ablation produces identical results to those of the standard cryosurgical Maze. Fourteen consecutive patients with chronic AF underwent on-pump epicardial Maze procedures after routine cardiac surgery. The results were compared with those of 14 control patients selected from our Maze database of 280 patients. There were no differences in age, sex, cardiothoracic ratio, duration of AF, pump time, intensive care unit or hospital stays. The aortic cross clamp time with epicardial microwave was, however, shortened from 110 to 65 minutes (p=0.011). The recurrence rate of AF after discharge showed no significant difference between the two groups (14% vs. 15%, p=0.841). Epicardial microwave ablation might be a valuable alternative to the conventional cryosurgical Maze procedure, especially for those patients without associated mitral valve disease.
Camm, A John; Corbucci, Giorgio; Padeletti, Luigi
The problem of early recognition of atrial fibrillation (AF) is greatly aggravated by the often silent nature of the rhythm disturbance. In about 1/3 of patients with this arrhythmia, patients are not aware of the so-called asymptomatic AF. In the past 15 years, the diagnostic data provided by implanted pacemakers and defibrillators have dramatically increased knowledge about silent AF. The unreliability of symptoms to estimate AF burden and to identify patients with and without AF has been pointed out not only by pacemaker trials but also in patients without implanted devices. The technology for continuous monitoring of AF has been largely validated. It is a powerful tool to detect silent paroxysmal AF in patients without previously documented arrhythmic episodes, such as those with cryptogenic stroke or other risk factors. Early diagnosis triggers earlier treatment for primary or secondary stroke prevention. Today, new devices are also available for pure electrocardiographic monitoring, implanted subcutaneously using a minimally invasive technique. In conclusion, this recent and promising technology adds relevant clinical and scientific information to improve risk stratification for stroke and may play an important role in testing and tailoring the therapies for rhythm and rate control.
Valtuille, Lucas; Choy, Jonathan B; Becher, Harald
Various Doppler-derived parameters of left atrial electrical remodeling have been demonstrated to predict recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) after AF ablation. The aim of this study was to compare three Doppler-derived measures of atrial conduction time in patients undergoing AF ablation, and to investigate their predictive value for successful procedure. In 32 prospectively enrolled patients undergoing the first AF ablation, atrial conduction time was estimated by measuring the time delay between the onset of P-wave on the surface ECG to the peak of the a′-wave on the pulsed-wave Doppler and color-coded tissue Doppler imaging of the left atrial lateral wall, and to the peak of the A-wave on the pulsed-wave Doppler of the mitral inflow. There was a significant difference in the baseline atrial conduction time measured by different echocardiographic techniques. Most (88%) patients had normal or only mildly dilated left atrium. At 6 months, 12 patients (38%) had recurrent AF/atrial tachycardia. The duration of history of AF was the only predictor of AF/atrial tachycardia recurrence following the first AF ablation (P=0.024; OR 1.023, CI 1.003–1.044). A combination of normal left atrial volume and history of paroxysmal AF of ≤48 months was associated with the best outcome. Predictive value of the Doppler derived parameters of atrial conduction time may be reduced in the early stages of left atrial remodeling. Future studies may determine which echocardiographic parameter correlates best with the extent of left atrial remodeling and is most predictive of successful AF ablation. PMID:26795694
Qiao, Yu; Wu, Lingmin; Hou, Bingbo; Sun, Wei; Zheng, Lihui; Ding, Ligang; Chen, Gang; Zhang, Shu; Yao, Yan
Abstract Functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) is not uncommon in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. We sought to investigate the association between FMR and atrial substrate remodeling as well as the ablation outcome in paroxysmal AF (PAF) patients. We retrospectively analyzed a prospectively enrolled cohort of 132 patients (age 55.1 ± 9.6 years, 75.8% male) with symptomatic PAF who underwent initial ablation in our institute. Functional mitral regurgitation was defined as regurgitation jet area to left atrium (LA) area ratio ≥ 0.1 without any primary valvular disease. Voltage mapping of LA was performed under sinus rhythm. Low voltage zones (LVZs) were semi-quantitatively estimated and presented as low voltage index. Follow-up for AF recurrence ≥ 12 months was performed. In total, 40 patients (29.6%) were detected with FMR, who were older than the non-FMR patients (P = 0.007) and had larger LA diameters (P = 0.02). Left atrium LVZs were observed in 64.9% of patients with FMR versus 22.1% patients without FMR (P < 0.001). Functional mitral regurgitation independently predicted the presence of LVZs (OR 7.286; 95% CI 3.023–17.562; P < 0.001). During a mean follow-up of 22.9 ± 6.5 months, 38 patients (28.8%) experienced AF recurrence. The recurrence rate was 60.0% and 19.5% in FMR and non-FMR cohort, respectively (log rank P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that FMR was an independent predictor for AF recurrence (HR 2.291; 95% CI 1.062–4.942; P = 0.03). Functional mitral regurgitation was strongly associated with atrial substrate remodeling. Furthermore, patients with FMR have substantial risk for AF recurrence post ablation. PMID:27472715
Cadilhac, Dominique A
Stroke associated with atrial fibrillation may occur in up to one third of people who experience an ischemic event, and results in greater stroke severity and poorer health outcomes. The ageing population in developed and developing countries will lead to an increase in the prevalence of atrial fibrillation in society. Detecting people who have atrial fibrillation and ensuring optimal prevention management is essential for reducing the burden of stroke worldwide. There is evidence that use of anticoagulants is inadequate in primary and secondary prevention of stroke. New anticoagulants that have fewer side effects and population screening tools are available. However, there is little information available about the cost-effectiveness of these new options for atrial fibrillation detection and stroke prevention management over current practice. Since resources for spending in health are limited, it is essential that formal economic analyses are undertaken to ensure there are informed and evidence-based decisions on where to best invest stroke prevention resources. It is essential that renewed efforts in the area of atrial fibrillation and options for stroke prevention are undertaken within the public health research community.
Objective To investigate the risk of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter in patients with periodontitis (PD) in comparison with individuals without PD. Methods We used the 1999–2010 Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to identify cases of PD in the year 2000 matching (1:1) with persons without PD during 1999–2000 according to sex and individual age as the control group. Using Cox proportional regression analysis adjusting for potential confounders, including age, sex, and comorbidities at baseline, and average annual number of ambulatory visits and dental scaling frequency during the follow-up period, we estimated hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to examine the risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter in PD patients in comparison with the control group. Subgroup analyses according to age, gender, or comorbidities were conducted to study the robustness of the association and investigate possible interaction effects. Results We enrolled 393,745 patients with PD and 393,745 non-PD individuals. The incidence rates of atrial fibrillation or flutter were 200 per 105 years among the PD group and 181 per 105 years in the non-PD group (incidence rate ratio, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.06–1.14). After adjusting for potential confounders, we found an increased risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter in the PD group compared with the non-PD group (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.25–1.36). The greater risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter in the PD group remained significant across all disease subgroups except hyperthyroidism and sleep apnea. Conclusion The present study results indicate an increased risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter in patients with PD. Lack of individual information about alcohol consumption, obesity, and tobacco use was a major limitation. PMID:27798703
Svensson, Thomas; Kitlinski, Mariusz; Engström, Gunnar; Melander, Olle
Psychological stress has been reported as a possible trigger of atrial fibrillation (AF). No studies have investigated whether any association between stress and AF could be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF (AF-genetic risk score (AF-GRS)). 8765 men and 13,543 women from the Malmö Diet Cancer Study, a population-based cohort, were included in the analyses. A variable representing stress was constructed from questions measuring job strain, and from one question assessing non-occupational stress. Cox proportional hazards regression models were adjusted for known covariates of AF. Mean follow-up times and number of recorded incident AF were 14.2 years and 1116 events for men, and 15.1 years and 932 events for women. Among women, high stress was associated with AF in the age adjusted model (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.47) but not following multivariable adjustment (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.95-1.39). Stress was not associated with incident AF in men. AF-GRS was significantly associated with incident AF for both genders. Stress did not interact significantly with genetic susceptibility to AF in men or women. Chronic stress is not associated with long-term incident hospital diagnosed AF. This association does not appear to be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF.
Zubaid, Mohammad; Rashed, Wafa A; Alsheikh-Ali, Alawi A; Al-Zakwani, Ibrahim; AlMahmeed, Wael; Shehab, Abdullah; Sulaiman, Kadhim; Qudaimi, Ahmed Al; Asaad, Nidal; Amin, Haitham
We describe management and outcomes of patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) in the Middle East. Consecutive patients with AF presenting to emergency departments (EDs) were prospectively enrolled. Among 1721 patients with nonvalvular AF, mean age was 59 ± 16 years and 44% were women. Comorbidities were common such as hypertension (59%), diabetes (33%), and coronary artery disease (33%). Warfarin was not prescribed to 40% of patients with Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age, Diabetes mellitus, Stroke/TIA2 score of ≥2. One-year rates of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) and all-cause mortality were 4.2% and 15.3%, respectively. Warfarin use at hospital-ED discharge was independently associated with lower 1-year rate of stroke/TIA (odds ratio [OR], 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17-0.85; P = .015) and all-cause mortality (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.32-0.83; P = .006). Prior history of heart failure and peripheral vascular disease was independent mortality predictors. Our patients are relatively young with significant cardiovascular risk. Their anticoagulation treatment is suboptimal, and 1-year all-cause mortality and stroke/TIA event rates are relatively high.
Svensson, Thomas; Kitlinski, Mariusz; Engström, Gunnar; Melander, Olle
Psychological stress has been reported as a possible trigger of atrial fibrillation (AF). No studies have investigated whether any association between stress and AF could be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF (AF-genetic risk score (AF-GRS)). 8765 men and 13,543 women from the Malmö Diet Cancer Study, a population-based cohort, were included in the analyses. A variable representing stress was constructed from questions measuring job strain, and from one question assessing non-occupational stress. Cox proportional hazards regression models were adjusted for known covariates of AF. Mean follow-up times and number of recorded incident AF were 14.2 years and 1116 events for men, and 15.1 years and 932 events for women. Among women, high stress was associated with AF in the age adjusted model (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.47) but not following multivariable adjustment (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.95–1.39). Stress was not associated with incident AF in men. AF-GRS was significantly associated with incident AF for both genders. Stress did not interact significantly with genetic susceptibility to AF in men or women. Chronic stress is not associated with long-term incident hospital diagnosed AF. This association does not appear to be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF. PMID:28195211
Russo, Vincenzo; Nigro, Gerardo; DI Meo, Federica; Papa, Andrea Antonio; Cioppa, Nadia Della; Proietti, Riccardo; Russo, Maria Giovanna; Calabrò, Raffaele; Politano, Luisa
P-wave dispersion is a non invasive indicator of intra-atrial conduction heterogeneity producing substrate for reentry, which is a pathophysiological mechanism of atrial fibrillation. The relationship between P-wave dispersion (PD) and atrial fibrillation (AF) in Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) patients is still unclear. Atrial Preference Pacing (APP) is an efficient algorithm to prevent paroxysmal AF in patients implanted with dual-chamber pacemaker. Aim of our study was to evaluate the possible correlation between atrial preference pacing algorithm, P-wave dispersion and AF burden in DM1 patients with normal cardiac function underwent permanent dual-chamber pacemaker implantation. We enrolled 50 patients with DM1 (age 50.3 ± 7.3; 11 F) underwent dual-chamber pacemaker implantation for various degree of atrioventricula block. The study population was randomized following 1 months stabilization period to APP algorithm features programmed OFF or ON. Patients were assessed every 3 months for the first year, and every 6 months thereafter up to 3 years. At each follow-up visit, we counted: the number of premature atrial beats, the number and the mean duration of AF episodes, AF burden and the percentage of atrial and ventricular pacing. APP ON Group showed lower number of AF episodes (117 ± 25 vs. 143 ± 37; p = 0.03) and AF burden (3059 ± 275 vs. 9010 ± 630 min; p < 0.04) than APP OFF Group. Atrial premature beats count (44903 ± 30689 vs. 13720 ± 7717 beats; p = 0.005) and Pwave dispersion values (42,1 ± 11 ms vs. 29,1 ± 4,2 ms, p = 0,003) were decreased in APP ON Group. We found a significant positive correlation between PD and AF burden (R = 0,8, p = 0.007). Atrial preference pacing algorithm, decreasing the number of atrial premature beats and the P-wave dispersion, reduces the onset and perpetuator factors of AF episodes and decreases the AF burden in DM1 patients underwent dual chamber pacemaker implantation for various degree of atrioventricular blocks
Tan, Changming; OuYang, Minzhi; Kong, Demiao; Zhou, Xinmin
Background The aim of this research was to explore the association between the left atrial (LA) and left atrial appendages (LAA) systole strain rate (SSR) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), and to provide evidence to aid in the assessment of disease progression. Material/Methods A total of 180 patients with AF were selected for the study (130 patients with paroxysmal AF (Par AF) and 50 patients with persistence AF (PerAF). In addition, 60 healthy individuals were selected as a control group. The total and side wall SSRs were calculated. Results The total SSR in the control group was higher than in the ParAF and PerAF groups (2.87±0.45 vs. 2.15±0.56 vs. 1.92±0.62 and 6.24±1.61 vs. 4.45±1.42 vs. 3.66±1.55). The total SSR of LAA was correlated with that of LA in the AF patient groups and the control group; the correlation coefficients were 0.720, 0.563, and 0.421. However, the ratio of total SSR of LAA to that of LA was not significant statistically different among the three groups (2.24±0.41 vs. 2.35±0.58 vs. 2.03±0.56). The posterior wall had the lowest SSRs in the control group and ParAF group. Conclusions The SSRs of AF patients were lower than that of healthy individuals, and the degree was associated with disease progression. The SSR was different in different side walls, and gradually shorten with disease progression. PMID:27988786
Seegers, Joachim; Zabel, Markus; Grüter, Timo; Ammermann, Antje; Weber-Krüger, Mark; Edelmann, Frank; Gelbrich, Götz; Binder, Lutz; Herrmann-Lingen, Christoph; Gröschel, Klaus; Hasenfuß, Gerd; Feltgen, Nicolas; Pieske, Burkert; Wachter, Rolf
Background and purpose Silent atrial fibrillation (AF) and tachycardia (AT) are considered precursors of ischaemic stroke. Therefore, detection of paroxysmal atrial rhythm disorders is highly relevant, but is clinically challenging. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic value of natriuretic peptide levels in the detection of paroxysmal AT/AF in a pilot study. Methods Natriuretic peptide levels were analysed in two independent patient cohorts (162 patients with arterial hypertension or other cardiovascular risk factors and 82 patients with retinal vessel disease). N-terminal-pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and BNP were measured before the start of a 7-day Holter monitoring period carefully screened for AT/AF. Results 244 patients were included; 16 had paroxysmal AT/AF. After excluding patients with a history of AT/AF (n=5), 14 patients had newly diagnosed AT/AF (5.8%) NT-proBNP and BNP levels were higher in patients with paroxysmal AT/AF in both cohorts: (1) 154.4 (IQR 41.7; 303.6) versus 52.8 (30.4; 178.0) pg/mL and 70.0 (31.9; 142.4) versus 43.9 (16.3; 95.2) and (2) 216.9 (201.4; 277.1) versus 90.8 (42.3–141.7) and 96.0 (54.7; 108.2) versus 29.1 (12.0; 58.1). For the detection of AT/AF episodes, NT-proBNP and BNP had an area under the curve in receiver operating characteristic analysis of 0.76 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.88; p=0.002) and 0.75 (0.61 to 0.89; p=0.004), respectively. Conclusions NT-proBNP and BNP levels are elevated in patients with silent AT/AF as compared with sinus rhythm. Thus, screening for undiagnosed paroxysmal AF using natriuretic peptide level initiated Holter monitoring may be a useful strategy in prevention of stroke or systemic embolism. PMID:26288739
Hess, Connie N; Al-Khatib, Sana M; Granger, Christopher B; Lopes, Renato
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with significant mortality and morbidity, and stroke represents the most-feared complication. Consequently, AF treatment has focused on thromboprophylaxis, with warfarin as the mainstay of therapy. However, concerns over ease of use and safety have limited its use. Three novel oral anticoagulants have been approved for use in stroke prevention in AF based on randomized data: 1) dabigatran, studied in Randomized Evaluation of Long-term Anticoagulation Therapy (RE-LY); 2) rivaroxaban, studied in Rivaroxaban Once-daily, Oral, Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared with Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism Trial in Atrial Fibrillation (ROCKET AF); and 3) apixaban, studied in Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation (ARISTOTLE). In this review, we focus on apixaban and discuss subgroup analyses that have been performed in the three trials comparing novel oral anticoagulants with warfarin. We conclude with recommendations regarding further investigations.
Bandholm, Thomas Quaade; Hakmann, Stine; Mourier, Malene; Kallemose, Thomas; Dixen, Ulrik
Background Physical activity at moderate-high intensity is recommended to prevent lifestyle diseases. Patients with atrial fibrillation are at risk of a sedentary lifestyle due to fear of exercise-induced episodes of atrial fibrillation. The burden of arrhythmia can be reduced by physical exercise. The effect of exercise intensity on burden of atrial fibrillation needs to be studied further. Methods and results In a 12-week randomized controlled trial, 76 patients with paroxysmal/persistent atrial fibrillation were allocated to perform exercise at either low intensity or high intensity (50% and 80% of maximal perceived exertion, respectively). Primary outcome was burden of AF measured by daily electrocardiography-reporting during 12 weeks. Secondarily, change in maximal oxygen uptake (peak VO2) and 1-year hospitalization was compared between low and high intensity exercise. Sixty-three patients completed the follow-up. In the intention-to-treat analysis, we found no statistical difference in burden of atrial fibrillation between low and high intensity exercise (incidence rate ratio 0.742, 95% CI 0.29–1.91, P = 0.538). No serious adverse events were reported and there was no difference in hospitalization between the two exercise groups. Both exercise groups improved significantly in peak VO2 (low intensity: 3.62 mL O2/kg/min, SD 3.77; high intensity: 2.87 mL O2/kg/min, SD 4.98), with no statistical difference between-groups (mean difference: 0.76 mL O2/kg/min, 95% CI -3.22–1.7). Conclusions High intensity physical exercise was not superior to low intensity physical exercise in reducing burden of atrial fibrillation. HI exercise was well tolerated; no evidence of an increased risk was found for HI compared to LI exercise. Larger studies are required to further prove our findings. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01817998 PMID:28231325
Chaugai, Sandip; Sherpa, Lhamo Yanchang; Sepehry, Amir A.; Arima, Hisatomi; Wang, Dao Wen
Abstract Recent studies have demonstrated that atrial fibrillation significantly increases the risk of adverse clinical outcomes in high cardiovascular disease risk subjects. Application of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system blockers for prevention of recurrence of atrial fibrillation and adverse clinical outcomes in subjects with atrial fibrillation is a theoretically appealing concept. However, results of clinical trials evaluating the effect of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone blockers on adverse clinical outcomes in high cardiovascular disease risk subjects with atrial fibrillation remain inconclusive. A pooled study of 6 randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone blockers on subjects with atrial fibrillation was performed. A total of 6 randomized controlled trials enrolled a total of 53,510 patients followed for 1 to 5 years. RAAS blockade therapy was associated with 14% reduction in the incidence of heart failure (OR: 0.86, [95%CI: 0.76– 0.97], P=0.018) and 17% reduction in the incidence of CVE (OR: 0.83, [95%CI: 0.70–0.99], P = 0.038). The corresponding decline in absolute risk against heart failure (ARR: 1.4%, [95%CI: 0.2–2.6%], P = 0.018) and CVE (ARR: 3.5%, [95%CI: 0.0–6.9%], P = 0.045) in the AF group was much higher than the non-AF group for heart failure (ARR: 0.4%, [95%CI: 0.0–0.7%], P = 0.057) and CVE (ARR: 1.6%, [95%CI: –0.1% to 3.3%], P = 0.071). No significant effect was noted on all-cause or cardiovascular mortality, stroke, or myocardial infarction. This study suggests that RAAS blockade offers protection against heart failure and cardiovascular events in high cardiovascular disease risk subjects with atrial fibrillation. PMID:27368043
Brick, Alexandre Visconti; Braile, Domingo M.
Objective To evaluate surgical treatment of chronic atrial fibrillation with ultrasound in patients with mitral valve disease, considering preoperative clinical characteristics of patients undergoing surgical procedure and follow-up in the immediate postoperative period, in hospital and up to 60 months after discharge. Methods We studied 100 patients with chronic atrial fibrillation and mitral valve disease who underwent surgical treatment using ultrasound ablation. Patient data were reviewed by consulting the control reports, including signs and symptoms, underlying disease, functional class, hospital stay, surgical procedure time, ablation time, immediate complications, and complications at discharged and up to 60 months later. Actuarial curve (Kaplan-Meier) was used for the study of permanence without recurrence after 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months. Results 86% of the patients had rheumatic mitral valve disease, 14% had degeneration of the mitral valve, 40% had mitral regurgitation, and 36% had mitral stenosis. Main symptoms included palpitations related to tachycardia by chronic atrial fibrillation (70%), congestive heart failure (70%), and previous episodes of acute pulmonary edema (27%). Early results showed that 94% of the patients undergoing ultrasound ablation reversed the rate of chronic atrial fibrillation, 86% being in sinus rhythm and 8% in atrioventricular block. At hospital discharge, maintenance of sinus rhythm was observed in 86% of patients and there was recurrence of chronic atrial fibrillation in 8% of patients. At follow-up after 60 months, 83.8% of patients maintained the sinus rhythm. Conclusion Surgical treatment of chronic atrial fibrillation with ultrasound concomitant with mitral valve surgery is feasible and satisfactory, with maintenance of sinus rhythm in most patients (83.8%) after 60 months of follow-up.
Torén, Kjell; Schiöler, Linus; Söderberg, Mia; Giang, Kok Wai; Rosengren, Annika
Objectives The purpose of this study was to investigate whether psychosocial stress defined as high strain based on the job demand–control model increases risk for atrial fibrillation. Methods The present study comprised 6035 men born between 1915 and 1925 and free from previous coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation and stroke at baseline (1974–1977). Work-related psychosocial stress was measured using a job-exposure matrix for the job demand–control model based on occupation at baseline. The participants were followed from baseline examination until death, hospital discharge or 75 years of age, using the Swedish national register on cause of death and the Swedish hospital discharge register for any registration for atrial fibrillation, resulting in the identification of 436 cases. Data were analysed with Cox regression models with atrial fibrillation as the outcome using high strain as the explanatory variable adjusted for age, smoking, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes and socioeconomic status. Results There was an increased risk for atrial fibrillation in relation to high strain (HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.003 to 1.75). When the four categories of the job-strain model were included and low strain was used as reference, the risk for high strain decreased (HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.82). Conclusions Exposure to occupational psychosocial stress defined as high strain may be associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation. The observed increase in risk is small and residual confounding may also be present. PMID:25523937
Tsai, Ming-Rung; Chiou, Yu-We; Sun, Chi-Kuang
Myocardial fibrosis, a common sequela of cardiac hypertrophy, has been shown to be associated with arrhythmias in experimental models. Some research has indicated that myocardial fibrosis plays an important role in predisposing patients to atrial fibrillation. Second harmonic generation (SHG) is an optically nonlinear coherent process to image the collagen network. In this presentation, we observe the SHG images of the collagen matrix in atrial myocardium and we analyzed of collagen fibers arrangement by using Fourier-transform analysis. Moreover, comparing the SHG images of the collagen fibers in atrial myocardium between normal sinus rhythm (NSR) and atrial fibrillation (AF), our result indicated that it is possible to realize the relation between myocardial fibrosis and AF.
Lip, Gregory Y H; Gitt, Anselm K; Le Heuzey, Jean-Yves; Bash, Lori D; Morabito, Christopher J; Bernhardt, Alexandra A; Sisk, Christine McCrary; Chazelle, François; Crijns, Harry J
Antithrombotic therapy is central to the management of atrial fibrillation. This analysis from the RHYTHM-atrial fibrillation (RHYTHM-AF) registry explored the appropriateness of antithrombotic therapy in relation to stroke risk and atrial fibrillation duration in patients with atrial fibrillation. RHYTHM-AF, a prospective multinational registry, enrolled consecutive adult patients with atrial fibrillation considered for cardioversion. We compared the type of antithrombotic therapy administered at the time of cardioversion and at discharge with stroke risk ("high stroke risk" defined by CHA2DS2-VASc >1) and duration of atrial fibrillation (≤48 vs >48 hours or unknown duration). Of 2,972 patients who were cardioverted (34.5% through pharmacologic cardioversion [PCV] and 65.5% through electrical cardioversion [ECV]), 65% were at high risk of stroke and 30% presented with atrial fibrillation of >48-hour or unknown duration. At the time of PCV and ECV, 36% (n = 242) and 84% (n = 1,075) of high-risk patients, respectively, were taking vitamin K antagonists or heparin. At discharge, these rates increased to 62% (n = 414) and 93% (n = 1,191), respectively. Of all low-stroke risk patients with short-duration atrial fibrillation undergoing PCV (n = 260) and ECV (n = 111), 7% (n = 17) and 30% (n = 33), respectively, were taking vitamin K antagonists or heparin at the time of cardioversion. At discharge, these rates increased to 19% (n = 50) and 40% (n = 44), respectively. In conclusion, ECV was frequently performed under appropriate antithrombotic therapy for most high-risk patients with atrial fibrillation, whereas PCV was frequently performed without appropriate antithrombotic therapy. To enhance pericardioversion stroke prevention, cardioversion algorithms should focus less on the type of conversion and more on stroke risk factors and atrial fibrillation duration.
Putnam, Andrew; Gu, Xiaokui; Haymart, Brian; Kline-Rogers, Eva; Almany, Steve; Kozlowski, Jay; Krol, Gregory D; Kaatz, Scott; Froehlich, James B; Barnes, Geoffrey D
It has been suggested that direct oral anticoagulants are being preferentially used in low risk atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Understanding the changing risk profile of new AF patients treated with warfarin is important for interpreting the quality of warfarin delivery through an anticoagulation clinic. Six anticoagulation clinics participating in the Michigan Anticoagulation Quality Improvement Initiative enrolled 1293 AF patients between 2010 and 2014 as an inception cohort. Abstracted data included demographics, comorbidities, medication use and all INR values. Risk scores including CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc, HAS-BLED, SAMe-TT2R2, and Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) were calculated for each patient at the time of warfarin initiation. The quality of anticoagulation was assessed using the Rosendaal time in the therapeutic range (TTR) during the first 6 months of treatment. Between 2010 and 2014, patients initiating warfarin therapy for AF had an increasing mean CHADS2 (2.0 ± 1.1 to 2.2 ± 1.4, p = 0.02) and CCI (4.7 ± 1.8 to 5.1 ± 2.0, p = 0.03), and a trend towards increasing mean CHA2DS2-VASc, HAS-BLED, and SAMe-TT2R2 scores. The actual TTR remained unchanged over the study period (62.6 ± 18.2 to 62.7 ± 17.0, p = 0.98), and the number of INR checks did not change (18.9 ± 5.2 to 18.5 ± 5.1, p = 0.06). Between 2010 and 2014, AF patients newly starting warfarin had mild increases in risk for stroke and death with sustained quality of warfarin therapy.
Hayano, J; Yamasaki, F; Sakata, S; Okada, A; Mukai, S; Fujinami, T
To investigate the spectral characteristics of the fluctuation in ventricular response during atrial fibrillation (AF), R-R interval time series obtained from ambulatory electrocardiograms were analyzed in 45 patients with chronic AF and in 30 age-matched healthy subjects with normal sinus rhythm (SR). Although the 24-h R-R interval spectrum during SR showed a 1/f noise-like downsloping linear pattern when plotted as log power against log frequency, the spectrum during AF showed an angular shape with a breakpoint at a frequency of 0.005 +/- 0.002 Hz, by which the spectrum was separated into long-term and short-term components with different spectral characteristics. The short-term component showed a white noise-like flat spectrum with a spectral exponent (absolute value of the regression slope) of 0.05 +/- 0.08 and an intercept at 10(-2) Hz of 4.9 +/- 0.3 log(ms2/Hz). The long-term component had a 1/f noise-like spectrum with a spectral exponent of 1.26 +/- 0.40 and an intercept at 10(-4) Hz of 7.0 +/- 0.3 log(ms2/Hz), which did not differ significantly from those for the spectrum during SR in the same frequency range [spectral exponent, 1.36 +/- 0.06; intercept at 10(-4) Hz, 7.1 +/- 0.3 log(ms2/Hz)]. The R-R intervals during AF may be a sequence of uncorrelated values over the short term (within several minutes). Over the longer term, however, the R-R interval fluctuation shows the long-range negative correlation suggestive of underlying regulatory processes, and spectral characteristics indistinguishable from those for SR suggest that the long-term fluctuations during AF and SR may originate from similar dynamics of the cardiovascular regulatory systems.
Kalantarian, Shadi; Stern, Theodore A.; Mansour, Moussa; Ruskin, Jeremy N.
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) has been linked with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Purpose To complete a meta-analysis of studies examining the association between AF and cognitive impairment. Data Sources Electronic search of 5 large databases and hand search of article references. Study Selection Prospective and non-prospective studies reporting adjusted risk estimates for the relationship between AF and cognitive impairment. Data Extraction Two abstracters independently extracted data on study characteristics, risk estimates, methods of AF and outcome ascertainment, and methodological quality. Data Synthesis Twenty one studies were included in the meta-analysis. AF was significantly associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment independent of stroke history (relative risk (RR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] =1.34 [1.13, 1.58]), in patients with first-ever or recurrent stroke (RR [95%] =2.7 [1.82, 4.00]) and in a broader population including patients with or without a history of stroke (RR [95% CI] =1.4 [1.19, 1.64]). However, there was significant heterogeneity among studies of the broader population (I2 =69.4 %). Limiting the analysis to prospective studies yielded similar results (RR [95% CI] =1.36 [1.12, 1.65]). Restricting the analysis to studies of dementia eliminated the significant heterogeneity (P value =0.137) but did not alter the pooled estimate substantially (RR [95% CI] = 1.38 [1.22, 1.56]). Limitations There is an inherent bias due to confounding variables in observational studies. There was significant heterogeneity among included studies. Conclusions Evidence suggests that AF is associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, with or without a history of clinical stroke. Further studies are required to elucidate the relationship between AF and subtypes of dementia as well as the etiology of cognitive impairment. PMID:23460057
Bernard, A; Fauchier, L; Pellegrin, C; Clementy, N; Saint Etienne, C; Banerjee, A; Naudin, D; Angoulvant, D
In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing coronary stent implantation, the optimal antithrombotic strategy is unclear. We evaluated whether use of oral anticoagulation (OAC) was associated with any benefit in morbidity or mortality in patients with AF, high risk of thromboembolism (TE) (CHA2DS2-VASC score ≥ 2) and coronary stent implantation. Among 8,962 unselected patients with AF seen between 2000 and 2010, a total of 2,709 (30%) had coronary artery disease and 417/2,709 (15%) underwent stent implantation while having CHA2DS2-VASC score ≥ 2. During follow-up (median=650 days), all TE, bleeding episodes, and major adverse cardiac events (i.e. death, acute myocardial infarction, target lesion revascularisation) were recorded. At discharge, 97/417 patients (23%) received OAC, which was more likely to be prescribed in patients with permanent AF and in those treated for elective stent implantation. The incidence of outcome event rates was not significantly different in patients treated and those not treated with OAC. However, in multivariate analysis, the lack of OAC at discharge was independently associated with increased risk of death/stroke/systemic TE (relative risk [RR] =2.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-4.67, p=0.04), with older age (RR =1.12, 1.04-1.20, p=0.003), heart failure (RR =3.26, 1.18-9.01, p=0.02), and history of stroke (RR =18.87, 3.11-111.11, p=0.001). In conclusion, in patients with AF and high thromboembolic risk after stent implantation, use of OAC was independently associated with decreased risk of subsequent death/stroke/systemic TE, suggesting that OAC should be systematically used in this patient population.
Ederhy, S; Di Angelantonio, E; Meuleman, C; Janower, S; Boccara, F; Cohen, A
Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are obtained through chemical or enzyme depolymerisation of unfractioned heparins (UFH). LMWHs present several advantages over UFH: they exhibit a smaller interindividual variability of the anticoagulant effect, they have a greater bioavailability, a longer plasma half-life and do not require monitoring of the anticoagulant effect. LMWH have restrictive indications in AF patients, cardioversion (II level C and TEE for ACC/AHA/ESC and 2C for ACCP guidelines) or use as a bridge therapy (IIB, level C for ACC/AHA/ESC). The ACE study (Anticoagulation for cardioversion using enoxaparin), showed a reduction, though not statistically significant, of 42% of the composite end point (embolic event, major bleeding and death) 2.8% under enoxaparin vs. 4.8 % under conventional treatment, relative risk 0.58, CI 95% 0.23-1.46). Other studies, using dalteparin, confirmed that an anticoagulant treatment using LMWH followed by warfarin was at least as good as conventional management. ACUTE II (Assessment of cardioversion using transesophageal echochardiography), a randomized multicenter trial, compared the efficacy and tolerance of enoxaparin (1 mg/kg every 12 hours) and UFH in 155 patients eligible for a TEE-guided cardioversion. These patients were administered LMWH or UFH for 24 hours before TEE or cardioversion. There were no significative differences regarding the incidence of the study end points, in particular stroke and bleeding, and no death occurred. HAEST (Heparin in acute embolic stroke trial), a randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind trial failed to show the LMWH superiority over aspirin in patients with acute ischemic stroke and atrial fibrillation. Finally, LMWH have been proposed as a bridge therapy in patients under chronic VKA prior to surgery or invasive procedures. This strategy resulted in a low rate of thromboembolic events and major bleedings.
Höchtl, Thomas; Huber, Kurt
Oral anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation is obligatory to lower the risk of spontaneous cerebrovascular and systemic thromboembolism. For this purpose, vitamin K antagonists (coumarins) have been recommended as the most effective drugs for a long time. However, problems with the practical use of these agents, e.g. the need for frequent and regular coagulation controls, the inter-individual differences in maintaining a stable therapeutic range, as well as drug or food interactions, have led to the search and investigation of alternative compounds characterized by a more simple use (e.g. without regular controls of therapeutic levels), high efficacy, as well as low risk of bleeding. The direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran and the direct factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban and apixaban have recently been investigated to prove whether they fulfill the high expectancy of an ideal anticoagulant with respect to a more favorable efficacy/safety profile and without the need for coagulation controls, thereby improving quality of life. Dabigatran (RE-LY) achieved an impressive reduction in stroke and non-central nervous system (non-CNS) embolism (110 mg: 1.5%/year; 150 mg: 1.1%/year) in contrast to warfarin (1.7%/year; P = 0.34 and P < 0.001) with a favorable action on bleeding hazards. The results of rivaroxaban which were obtained in the ROCKET AF study (on treatment analysis: stroke and non-CNS embolism: 1.7%/year vs. 2.15%/year with warfarin; P = 0.015; primary safety endpoint major and minor bleeding: 14.91 vs. 14.52%; P = 0.442) point in the same direction. And finally, compared to aspirin, apixaban reduced the combined primary efficacy endpoint by 52% with comparable rates of bleeding (AVERROES). This review gives a summary of the current knowledge about these agents and their potential future importance.
Atrial fibrillation treatment relies on anticoagulation therapy that reduces the risk of stroke. Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) were the only oral anticoagulant drugs for more than 50 years, but they are difficult to manage especially in the elderly. In France, VKA are the main cause of iatrogenic hospitalizations with about 17,000 hospitalizations per year and around 4,000 to 5,000 deaths per year. Pharmacologic properties of VKA, especially the narrow therapeutic margin explain the complexity of their management. Several studies have shown that patients treated with VKA were on average only 50% of the time with an INR in the therapeutic range. In other words, patients are, half of the time, either-under treated or over-treated. Within this framework, development of new oral anticoagulant drugs appeared necessary, in order to obtain drugs with larger therapeutic margin and a better risk/benefit profile than VKA. Three large randomized clinical trials including almost 50,000 patients with 20,000 subjects over 75 years old and 8,000 over 80 years old, show a better risk/benefit profile of the new oral anticoagulants (NOAC) than VKA, characterized by a 50% reduction of cerebral hemorrhages, 22% reduction of stroke and 12% reduction of total mortality. Meanwhile, their renal elimination and the lack of control of the biological efficacy need to be taken into account for their prescription. Renal failure (estimated glomerular filtration rate according to Cockcroft formula < 30 mL/min) contraindicates their use. Their half-life is shorter than that of VKA and the biological monitoring is not available, thus a good adherence to the treatment is important. Studies specifically conducted among geriatric older population with poly-pathologies and frail are therefore needed to evaluate tolerance of NOAC in real life conditions.
Gu, Xiaokui; Haymart, Brian; Kline-Rogers, Eva; Almany, Steve; Kozlowski, Jay; Krol, Gregory D.; Kaatz, Scott; Froehlich, James B.; Barnes, Geoffrey D.
It has been suggested that direct oral anticoagulants are being preferentially used in low risk atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Understanding the changing risk profile of new AF patients treated with warfarin is important for interpreting the quality of warfarin delivery through an anticoagulation clinic. Six anticoagulation clinics participating in the Michigan Anticoagulation Quality Improvement Initiative enrolled 1293 AF patients between 2010 and 2014 as an inception cohort. Abstracted data included demographics, comorbidities, medication use and all INR values. Risk scores including CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc, HAS-BLED, SAMe-TT2R2, and Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) were calculated for each patient at the time of warfarin initiation. The quality of anticoagulation was assessed using the Rosendaal time in the therapeutic range (TTR) during the first 6 months of treatment. Between 2010 and 2014, patients initiating warfarin therapy for AF had an increasing mean CHADS2 (2.0 ± 1.1 to 2.2 ± 1.4, p = 0.02) and CCI (4.7 ± 1.8 to 5.1 ± 2.0, p = 0.03), and a trend towards increasing mean CHA2DS2-VASc, HAS-BLED, and SAMe-TT2R2 scores. The actual TTR remained unchanged over the study period (62.6 ± 18.2 to 62.7 ± 17.0, p = 0.98), and the number of INR checks did not change (18.9 ± 5.2 to 18.5 ± 5.1, p = 0.06). Between 2010 and 2014, AF patients newly starting warfarin had mild increases in risk for stroke and death with sustained quality of warfarin therapy. PMID:26130229
Melby, Spencer J.; Zierer, Andreas; Bailey, Marci S.; Cox, James L.; Lawton, Jennifer S.; Munfakh, Nabil; Crabtree, Traves D.; Moazami, Nader; Huddleston, Charles B.; Moon, Marc R.; Damiano, Ralph J.
Background/Objective: While the Cox-Maze procedure remains the gold standard for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), the use of ablation technology has revolutionized the field. To simplify the procedure, our group has replaced most of the incisions with bipolar radiofrequency ablation lines. The purpose of this study was to examine results using bipolar radiofrequency in 130 patients undergoing a full Cox-Maze procedure, a limited Cox-Maze procedure, or pulmonary vein isolation alone. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent a Cox-Maze procedure (n = 100), utilizing bipolar radiofrequency ablation, a limited Cox-Maze procedure (n = 7), or pulmonary vein isolation alone (n = 23). Follow-up was available on 129 of 130 patients (99%). Results: Pulmonary vein isolation was confirmed by intraoperative pacing in all patients. Cross-clamp time in the lone Cox-Maze procedure patients was 44 ± 21 minutes, and 104 ± 42 minutes for the Cox-Maze procedure with a concomitant procedure, which was shortened considerably from our traditional cut-and-sew Cox-Maze procedure times (P < 0.05). There were 4 postoperative deaths in the Cox-Maze procedure group and 1 in the pulmonary vein isolation group. The mean follow-up was 13 ± 10, 23 ± 15, and 9 ± 10 months for the Cox-Maze IV, the pulmonary vein isolation, and the limited Cox-Maze procedure groups, respectively. At last follow-up, freedom from AF was 90% (85 of 94), 86% (6 of 7), and 59% (10 of 17) in the in the Cox-Maze procedure group, limited Cox-Maze procedure group, and pulmonary vein isolation alone group, respectively. Conclusions: The use of bipolar radiofrequency ablation to replace Cox-Maze incisions was safe and effective at controlling AF. Pulmonary vein isolation alone was much less effective, and should be used cautiously in this population. PMID:16998367
Crowson, Cynthia S.; Roger, Véronique L.; Gabriel, Sherine E.; Matteson, Eric L.
Objective. To investigate the incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to the general population. Methods. A population-based inception cohort of Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents with incident RA in 1980–2007 and a cohort of non-RA subjects from the same population base were assembled and followed until 12/31/2008. The occurrence of AF was ascertained by medical record review. Results. The study included 813 patients with RA and 813 non-RA subjects (mean age 55.9 (SD:15.7) years, 68% women in both cohorts). The prevalence of AF was similar in the RA and non-RA cohorts at RA incidence/index date (4% versus 3%; P = 0.51). The cumulative incidence of AF during follow-up was higher among patients with RA compared to non-RA subjects (18.3% versus 16.3% at 20 years; P = 0.048). This difference persisted after adjustment for age, sex, calendar year, smoking, and hypertension (hazard ratio: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.07, 2.00). There was no evidence of a differential impact of AF on mortality in patients with RA compared to non-RA subjects (hazard ratio 2.5 versus 2.8; interaction P = 0.31). Conclusion. The incidence of AF is increased in patients with RA, even after adjustment for AF risk factors. AF related mortality risk did not differ between patients with and without RA. PMID:25815336
Nemati, Shamim; Ghassemi, Mohammad M; Ambai, Vaidehi; Isakadze, Nino; Levantsevych, Oleksiy; Shah, Amit; Clifford, Gari D
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is diagnosed by analysis of the morphological and rhythmic properties of the electrocardiogram. It was recently shown that accurate detection of AFib is possible using beat-to-beat interval variations. This raises the question of whether AFib detection can be performed using a pulsatile waveform such as the Photoplethysmogram (PPG). The recent explosion in use of recreational and professional ambulatory wrist-based pulse monitoring devices means that an accurate pulse-based AFib screening algorithm would enable large scale screening for silent or undiagnosed AFib, a significant risk factor for multiple diseases. We propose a noise-resistant machine learning approach to detecting AFib from noisy ambulatory PPG recorded from the wrist using a modern research watch-based wearable device (the Samsung Simband). Ambulatory pulsatile and movement data were recorded from 46 subjects, 15 with AFib and 31 non symptomatic. Single channel electrocardiogram (ECG), multi-wavelength PPG and tri-axial accelerometry were recorded simultaneously at 128 Hz from the non-dominant wrist using the Simband. Recording lengths varied from 3.5 to 8.5 minutes. Pulse (beat) detection was performed on the PPG waveforms, and eleven features were extracted based on beat-to-beat variability and waveform signal quality. Using 10-fold cross validation, an accuracy of 95 % on out-of-sample data was achieved, with a sensitivity of 97%, specificity of 94%, and an area under the receiver operating curve (AUROC) of 0.99. The described approach provides a noise-resistant, accurate screening tool for AFib from PPG sensors located in an ambulatory wrist watch. To our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate an algorithm with a high enough accuracy to be used in general population studies that does not require an ambulatory Holter electrocardiographic monitor.
Danelich, Ilya M; Reed, Brent N; Hollis, Ian B; Cook, Abigail M; Rodgers, Jo E
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a cardiac arrhythmia associated with significant morbidity and mortality, affecting more than 3 million people in the United States and 1-2% of the population worldwide. Its estimated prevalence is expected to double within the next 50 years. During the past decade, there have been significant advances in the treatment of AF. Studies have demonstrated that a rate control strategy, with a target resting heart rate between 80 and 100 beats/minute, is recommended over rhythm control in the vast majority of patients. The CHA2 DS2 ≥ (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 65 yrs, diabetes mellitus, stroke or transient ischemic attack, vascular disease, female gender) scoring system is a potentially useful stroke risk stratification tool that incorporates additional risk factors to the commonly used CHADS2 (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, diabetes mellitus, stroke transient ischemic attack) scoring tool. Similarly, a convenient scheme, termed HAS-BLED (hypertension, abnormal renal/liver function, stroke, bleeding history or predisposition, labile international normalized ratio, elderly, drugs/alcohol concomitantly), to assess bleeding risk has emerged that may be useful in select patients. Furthermore, new antithrombotic strategies have been developed as potential alternatives to warfarin, including dual-antiplatelet therapy with clopidogrel plus aspirin and the development of new oral anticoagulants such as dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban. Vernakalant has emerged as another potential option for pharmacologic conversion of AF, whereas recent trials have better defined the role of dronedarone in the maintenance of sinus rhythm. Finally, catheter ablation represents another alternative to manage AF, whereas upstream therapy with inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, statins, and polyunsaturated fatty acids could potentially prevent the occurrence of AF. Despite substantial progress
So, Charlotte H; Eckman, Mark H
The combined use of aspirin and oral anticoagulant therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD) has been questioned due to an increased risk of major bleeding with little to no benefit in preventing ischemic events. (1) To better understand patterns and indications for combined antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy and identify patients who might reasonably be treated with oral anticoagulant (OAC) therapy alone. (2) To perform an updated literature review regarding the use of combined antiplatelet and OAC therapy in patients with AF and stable CAD. Retrospective review. Patients within the University of Cincinnati Health System with a diagnosis of non-valvular AF, excluding those with acute coronary syndrome or revascularization within the last 12 months. Numbers and indications for combined antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy and sequence of events leading to the initiation of each. Of 948 patients receiving OAC, 430 (45 %) were receiving concomitant OAC and aspirin. Among patients receiving combined antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, 49 and 42 % of patients respectively, had CAD or DM. In a more detailed analysis including chart review of 219 patients receiving combined OAC and aspirin, 27 % had a diagnosis of CAD and 14 % had a diagnosis of DM prior to the development of AF. These patients were initially treated with aspirin. Warfarin was added when they subsequently developed AF but aspirin wasn't discontinued. A surprisingly large proportion of patients (22.8 %) had no obvious indication for dual therapy. Prior myocardial infarction, CAD, vascular disease and DM (among others) increase the likelihood of receiving combined antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy among patients with AF. A literature review suggests this may lead to increased major bleeding with little benefit in decreasing either AF-related stroke or cardiovascular events.
Keustermans, Johannes; De Buck, Stijn; Heidbüchel, Hein; Suetens, Paul
Catheter based radio-frequency ablation is used as an invasive treatment of atrial fibrillation. This procedure is often guided by the use of 3D anatomical models obtained from CT, MRI or rotational angiography. During the intervention the operator accurately guides the catheter to prespecified target ablation lines. The planning stage, however, can be time consuming and operator dependent which is suboptimal both from a cost and health perspective. Therefore, we present a novel statistical model-based algorithm for locating ablation targets from 3D rotational angiography images. Based on a training data set of 20 patients, consisting of 3D rotational angiography images with 30 manually indicated ablation points, a statistical local appearance and shape model is built. The local appearance model is based on local image descriptors to capture the intensity patterns around each ablation point. The local shape model is constructed by embedding the ablation points in an undirected graph and imposing that each ablation point only interacts with its neighbors. Identifying the ablation points on a new 3D rotational angiography image is performed by proposing a set of possible candidate locations for each ablation point, as such, converting the problem into a labeling problem. The algorithm is validated using a leave-one-out-approach on the training data set, by computing the distance between the ablation lines obtained by the algorithm and the manually identified ablation points. The distance error is equal to 3.8+/-2.9 mm. As ablation lesion size is around 5-7 mm, automated planning of ablation targets by the presented approach is sufficiently accurate.
Zeng, Wu-Tao; Liu, Zhi-Hao; Li, Zhu-Yu; Zhang, Ming; Cheng, Yun-Jiu
Digoxin has long been used for rate control in atrial fibrillation (AF); its safety remains controversial.We performed a literature search using MEDLINE (source PubMed, January 1, 1966, to July 31, 2015) and EMBASE (January 1, 1980, to July 31, 2015) with no restrictions. Studies that reported relative risk (RR) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations of interest were included. Pooled effect estimates were obtained by using random-effects meta-analysis.Twenty-two studies involving 586,594 patients were identified. Patients taking digoxin, as compared with those who took no digoxin, experienced an increased risk of death from any cause (RR: 1.29[95% CI 1.16-1.43]), even after reported adjustment for propensity scores (RR: 1.28[95% CI 1.18-1.39]). The risk of death was increased with patients with or without heart failure (RR: 1.12[95% CI 1.02-1.23] and RR: 1.26[95% CI 1.15-1.29], respectively), and patients taking or not taking beta blockers (RR: 1.17 [95% CI 1.06-1.30] and RR: 1.28 [95% CI 1.08-1.51], respectively). Digoxin use was also associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death (RR: 1.32 [95% CI 1.07-1.64]), arrhythmic death (RR: 1.38 [95% CI 1.07-1.79]), and stroke (RR: 1.20 [95% CI 1.004-1.44]). Digoxin treatment is associated with an absolute risk increase of 19 (95% CI 13-26) additional deaths from any cause per 1000 person-years.Digoxin use is associated with a significant increased risk for death from any cause in patients with AF. This finding suggests a need for reconsideration of present treatment recommendations on use of digoxin in AF.
Poulet, Claire; Wettwer, Erich; Grunnet, Morten; Jespersen, Thomas; Fabritz, Larissa; Matschke, Klaus; Knaut, Michael; Ravens, Ursula
Slowly inactivating Na+ channels conducting "late" Na+ current (INa,late) contribute to ventricular arrhythmogenesis under pathological conditions. INa,late was also reported to play a role in chronic atrial fibrillation (AF). The objective of this study was to investigate INa,late in human right atrial cardiomyocytes as a putative drug target for treatment of AF. To activate Na+ channels, cardiomyocytes from transgenic mice which exhibit INa,late (ΔKPQ), and right atrial cardiomyocytes from patients in sinus rhythm (SR) and AF were voltage clamped at room temperature by 250-ms long test pulses to -30 mV from a holding potential of -80 mV with a 100-ms pre-pulse to -110 mV (protocol I). INa,late at -30 mV was not discernible as deviation from the extrapolated straight line IV-curve between -110 mV and -80 mV in human atrial cells. Therefore, tetrodotoxin (TTX, 10 μM) was used to define persistent inward current after 250 ms at -30 mV as INa,late. TTX-sensitive current was 0.27±0.06 pA/pF in ventricular cardiomyocytes from ΔKPQ mice, and amounted to 0.04±0.01 pA/pF and 0.09±0.02 pA/pF in SR and AF human atrial cardiomyocytes, respectively. With protocol II (holding potential -120 mV, pre-pulse to -80 mV) TTX-sensitive INa,late was always larger than with protocol I. Ranolazine (30 μM) reduced INa,late by 0.02±0.02 pA/pF in SR and 0.09±0.02 pA/pF in AF cells. At physiological temperature (37°C), however, INa,late became insignificant. Plateau phase and upstroke velocity of action potentials (APs) recorded with sharp microelectrodes in intact human trabeculae were more sensitive to ranolazine in AF than in SR preparations. Sodium channel subunits expression measured with qPCR was high for SCN5A with no difference between SR and AF. Expression of SCN8A and SCN10A was low in general, and lower in AF than in SR. In conclusion, We confirm for the first time a TTX-sensitive current (INa,late) in right atrial cardiomyocytes from SR and AF patients at room
Farrar, Wendy S; Fyfe-Johnson, Amber L; Baechler, Courtney J; Dusek, Jeffery A
The relationship between acute life stress and the development of atrial fibrillation (AF) has been noted in the literature. However, the use of integrative medicine (IM) in restoring cardiac rhythm has not been adequately studied. This case report describes how an IM approach was used in a patient with atrial fibrillation and acute pain. Spontaneous cardioversion to normal sinus rhythm occurred during the IM session, in addition to marked decreases in self-reported pain, anxiety, and nausea at the conclusion of IM treatment. These results provide initial support that for some cases of AF, IM therapies can help to reduce costs via avoidance of additional hospitalization, electrocardioversion, and general anesthesia.
Gemma, Lee W; Steinberg, Leonard A; Prystowsky, Eric N; Padanilam, Benzy J
Intermittent preexcitation during sinus rhythm is indicative of an accessory pathway at a very low risk for sudden death. We present the case of a 49-year-old man with intermittent preexcitation who subsequently developed rapid atrial fibrillation with a shortest preexcited R-R interval of 230 milliseconds. Electrophysiology study showed intermittent preexcitation at baseline and 1:1 anterograde accessory pathway conduction to 220 milliseconds in the presence of 1 mcg/min isoproterenol infusion. The pathway was successfully ablated at the lateral mitral annulus. Accessory pathways highly sensitive to catecholamines may show intermittent preexcitation at baseline with potential for rapid conduction during atrial fibrillation and sudden death.
Morgan, Stephen; Mant, David
BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation is a common and treatable cause of stroke that often remains unrecognised. Screening has been suggested but there is very little evidence concerning the uptake of screening in the elderly population at risk, nor of the optimal method of screening in a general practice setting AIM: To compare the uptake and effectiveness of two methods of screening for atrial fibrillation in general practice--systematic nurse-led screening and prompted opportunistic case finding. DESIGN OF STUDY: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Patients aged 65 to 100 years (n = 3,001) from four general practices within the MRC general practice framework. METHOD: Each of the four study practices were selected from one quartile, after ranking all framework practices according to the small area standardised mortality ratio of the geographical area served. Patients were randomised either to nurse-led screening or to prompted opportunistic casefinding. The proportion of patients assessed and the proportion found to have atrial fibrillation were compared. The sensitivity and specificity of clinical assessment of pulse are also reported. RESULTS: Substantially more patients had their pulse assessed through systematic screening by invitation (1,099/1,499 [73%]) than through opportunistic case finding (439/1,502 [29%], difference = 44%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 41% to 47%). Atrial fibrillation was detected in 67 (4.5%) and 19 (1.3%) patients respectively (difference = 3.2%, 95% CI= 2.0 to 4.4). Invitation to nurse-led screening achieved significantly higher assessment rates than case finding in all practices; however, the proportion of patients assessed in the case-finding arm varied markedly between practices (range = 8% to 52%). The number needed to screen to identify one additional patient with atrial fibrillation was 31 (95% CI = 23 to 50). The proportion of screened patients with atrial fibrillation receiving anticoagulation treatment was 25%, although in the
Heijman, Jordi; Heusch, Gerd; Dobrev, Dobromir
Atrial fibrillation remains the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice. Dronedarone is an antiarrhythmic drug for the maintenance of sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation. Dronedarone is an amiodarone derivative developed to reduce the number of extracardiovascular side effects. Dronedarone has undergone extensive experimental and clinical testing during the last decade. On the aggregate, these studies have highlighted a complex set of pleiotropic actions that may contribute to dronedarone’s antiarrhythmic effects. In this review, we summarize the clinical studies that have evaluated dronedarone and provide an overview of dronedarone’s electrophysiological and nonelectrophysiological pleiotropic actions. PMID:23997577
Hanka, J; van den Hoven, R; Schwarz, B
Cor pulmonale is considered an uncommon complication in horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). This case report describes the history, clinical and further examination findings, treatment, progression and outcome of a horse diagnosed with cor pulmonale and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation of 2 days duration due to a severe exacerbation of RAO. To our best knowledge, this is the first report of RAO induced pulmonary hypertension in a horse causing atrial fibrillation. However, even severe cardiac changes due to respiratory dysfunction seem to be largely reversible in horses.
Huang, Zhengrong; Chen, Xiao-jun; Qian, Cheng; Dong, Qian; Ding, Dan; Wu, Qiong-feng; Li, Jing; Wang, Hong-fei; Li, Wei-hua; Xie, Qiang; Cheng, Xiang; Liao, Yu-hua
Background— Postoperative atrial fibrillation is a frequent complication in cardiac surgery. The aberrant activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) contributes to the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) promotes atrial fibrosis. Recent studies support the existence of reciprocal regulation between STAT3 and miR-21. Here, we test the hypothesis that these 2 molecules might form a feedback loop that contributes to postoperative atrial fibrillation by promoting atrial fibrosis. Methods and Results— A sterile pericarditis model was created using atrial surfaces dusted with sterile talcum powder in rats. The inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, transforming growth factor-β, and tumor necrosis factor-α, along with STAT3 and miR-21, were highly upregulated in sterile pericarditis rats. The inhibition of STAT3 by S3I-201 resulted in miR-21 downregulation, which ameliorated atrial fibrosis and decreased the expression of the fibrosis-related genes, α-smooth muscle actin, collagen-1, and collagen-3; reduced the inhomogeneity of atrial conduction; and attenuated atrial fibrillation vulnerability. Meanwhile, treatment with antagomir-21 decreased STAT3 phosphorylation, alleviated atrial remodeling, abrogated sterile pericarditis–induced inhomogeneous conduction, and prevented atrial fibrillation promotion. The culturing of cardiac fibroblasts with IL-6 resulted in progressively augmented STAT3 phosphorylation and miR-21 levels. S3I-201 blocked IL-6 induced the expression of miR-21 and fibrosis-related genes in addition to cardiac fibroblast proliferation. Transfected antagomir-21 decreased the IL-6–induced cardiac fibroblast activation and STAT3 phosphorylation. The overexpression of miR-21 in cardiac fibroblasts caused the upregulation of STAT3 phosphorylation, enhanced fibrosis-related genes, and increased cell numbers. Conclusions— Our results have uncovered a novel reciprocal loop between STAT3
Upshaw, Charles B.
Electrocardiographic differences occur between African-American and white persons. The cardiac rhythms of 2123 African-American and white hospital patients from 20 through 99 years of age were studied in a consecutive manner. The prevalence of atrial fibrillation increases dramatically with advancing age in both African-American and white patients. The prevalence of atrial fibrillation begins to increase at age 60 years and continues to increase through the 10th decade of life, although the rate of rise of the prevalence of atrial fibrillation is less in African-American patients compared with white patients. The cause of the reduced prevalence of atrial fibrillation in African-American patients remains unexplained. Atrial fibrillation occurs in 2.5% of African-American patients compared with 7.8% of white patients attending an urban hospital. There is little difference in the prevalence of atrial fibrillation between men and women. Atrial fibrillation occurs nearly seven times more often than does atrial flutter. PMID:11995632
Varela, Marta; Bisbal, Felipe; Zacur, Ernesto; Berruezo, Antonio; Aslanidi, Oleg V; Mont, Lluis; Lamata, Pablo
The left atrium (LA) can change in size and shape due to atrial fibrillation (AF)-induced remodeling. These alterations can be linked to poorer outcomes of AF ablation. In this study, we propose a novel comprehensive computational analysis of LA anatomy to identify what features of LA shape can optimally predict post-ablation AF recurrence. To this end, we construct smooth 3D geometrical models from the segmentation of the LA blood pool captured in pre-procedural MR images. We first apply this methodology to characterize the LA anatomy of 144 AF patients and build a statistical shape model that includes the most salient variations in shape across this cohort. We then perform a discriminant analysis to optimally distinguish between recurrent and non-recurrent patients. From this analysis, we propose a new shape metric called vertical asymmetry, which measures the imbalance of size along the anterior to posterior direction between the superior and inferior left atrial hemispheres. Vertical asymmetry was found, in combination with LA sphericity, to be the best predictor of post-ablation recurrence at both 12 and 24 months (area under the ROC curve: 0.71 and 0.68, respectively) outperforming other shape markers and any of their combinations. We also found that model-derived shape metrics, such as the anterior-posterior radius, were better predictors than equivalent metrics taken directly from MRI or echocardiography, suggesting that the proposed approach leads to a reduction of the impact of data artifacts and noise. This novel methodology contributes to an improved characterization of LA organ remodeling and the reported findings have the potential to improve patient selection and risk stratification for catheter ablations in AF.
Varela, Marta; Bisbal, Felipe; Zacur, Ernesto; Berruezo, Antonio; Aslanidi, Oleg V.; Mont, Lluis; Lamata, Pablo
The left atrium (LA) can change in size and shape due to atrial fibrillation (AF)-induced remodeling. These alterations can be linked to poorer outcomes of AF ablation. In this study, we propose a novel comprehensive computational analysis of LA anatomy to identify what features of LA shape can optimally predict post-ablation AF recurrence. To this end, we construct smooth 3D geometrical models from the segmentation of the LA blood pool captured in pre-procedural MR images. We first apply this methodology to characterize the LA anatomy of 144 AF patients and build a statistical shape model that includes the most salient variations in shape across this cohort. We then perform a discriminant analysis to optimally distinguish between recurrent and non-recurrent patients. From this analysis, we propose a new shape metric called vertical asymmetry, which measures the imbalance of size along the anterior to posterior direction between the superior and inferior left atrial hemispheres. Vertical asymmetry was found, in combination with LA sphericity, to be the best predictor of post-ablation recurrence at both 12 and 24 months (area under the ROC curve: 0.71 and 0.68, respectively) outperforming other shape markers and any of their combinations. We also found that model-derived shape metrics, such as the anterior-posterior radius, were better predictors than equivalent metrics taken directly from MRI or echocardiography, suggesting that the proposed approach leads to a reduction of the impact of data artifacts and noise. This novel methodology contributes to an improved characterization of LA organ remodeling and the reported findings have the potential to improve patient selection and risk stratification for catheter ablations in AF. PMID:28261103
Inci, Sinan; Izgu, Ibrahim; Aktas, Halil; Dogan, Pinar; Dogan, Ali
Summary Complications in the accessory pathway in Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome could cause different clinical conditions by inducing different arrhythmias. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of these arrhythmias and is important as it causes life-threatening arrhythmias. It is known that some drugs, underlying cardiac diseases, and the number of accessory pathways, cause a predisposition to this condition. In the current report, we presented a patient with WPW who was admitted to the emergency department with AF, wide QRS and a rapid ventricular response that progressed to ventricular fibrillation. PMID:26361569
Guo, Yu-tao; Zhang, Ye; Shi, Xiang-min; Shan, Zhao-liang; Wang, Chun-jiang; Wang, Yu-tang; Chen, Yun-dai; Lip, Gregory Y. H.
The risks of major bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) are higher in Asian patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) compared to non-Asians. We aimed to investigate risk factors for bleeding, and validate the predictive value of available bleeding risk scores (mOBRI, HEMORR2HAGES, Shireman, HAS-BLED, ATRIA and ORBIT) in a large cohort of Chinese inpatients with AF. Using hospital electronic medical databases, we identified 4824 AF patients (mean age 67 years; 34.9% female) from January 1, 1995 to May 30, 2015, with median (interquartile) in-hospital days of 10 (7–16) days. On multivariate analysis, prior bleeds, vascular disease, anemia, prior stroke, and liver dysfunction were independent risk factors of major bleeding (all p < 0.05). C-statistics (95%CI) of the HAS-BLED score were 0.72 (0.65–0.79) for major bleeding events and 0.83 (0.75–0.91) for ICH (all p < 0.001). Compared to other risk scores, the HAS-BLED score was significantly better in predicting major bleeding events (Delong test, all P < 0.05, apart from mOBRI, HEMORR2HAGES) and ICH (all p < 0.05), and additionally, resulted in a net reclassification improvement (NRI) of 17.1–65.5% in predicting major bleeding events and 29.5–67.3% in predicting ICH (all p < 0.05). We conclude that the HAS-BLED score had the best predictive and discriminatory ability for major bleeding and ICH in an Asian/Chinese AF population. PMID:27557876
Micieli, Andrew; Bennell, Maria C.; Pham, Ba’; Krahn, Murray; Singh, Sheldon M.; Wijeysundera, Harindra C.
Background Left atrial appendage occlusion devices are cost effective for stroke prophylaxis in atrial fibrillation when compared with dabigatran or warfarin. We illustrate the use of value‐of‐information analyses to quantify the degree and consequences of decisional uncertainty and to identify future research priorities. Methods and Results A microsimulation decision‐analytic model compared left atrial appendage occlusion devices to dabigatran or warfarin in atrial fibrillation. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis quantified the degree of parameter uncertainty. Expected value of perfect information analyses showed the consequences of this uncertainty. Expected value of partial perfect information analyses were done on sets of input parameters (cost, utilities, and probabilities) to identify the source of the greatest uncertainty. One‐way sensitivity analyses identified individual parameters for expected value of partial perfect information analyses. Population expected value of perfect information and expected value of partial perfect information provided an upper bound on the cost of future research. Substantial uncertainty was identified, with left atrial appendage occlusion devices being preferred in only 47% of simulations. The expected value of perfect information was $8542 per patient and $227.3 million at a population level. The expected value of partial perfect information for the set of probability parameters represented the most important source of uncertainty, at $6875. Identified in 1‐way sensitivity analyses, the expected value of partial perfect information for the odds ratio for stroke with left atrial appendage occlusion compared with warfarin was calculated at $7312 per patient or $194.5 million at a population level. Conclusion The relative efficacy of stroke reduction with left atrial appendage occlusion devices in relation to warfarin is an important source of uncertainty. Improving estimates of this parameter should be the priority
Choi, Jah Yeon; Park, Eun Jin; Kim, Hee Dong; Park, Sung Hun; Song, Ji Young; Lee, Dae In; Shim, Jaemin
We report the case of a 64-year-old male with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) terminated by ethanol infusion into vein of Marshall as add-on therapy. Three-dimensional automated complex fractionated atrial electrogram (CFAE) during AF revealed clustering of CFAE at perimitral isthmus (PMI) and its unipolar mapping showed rotor-like activation, which was suggested to be critical in the perpetuation of AF. AF was organized to atrial tachycardia (AT) by 100% ethanol infusion in the vein of Marshall. Adjunctive radiofrequency ablation at PMI successfully terminated AT and led to bidirectional block of PMI. PMID:26413111
Ugarte, Juan P; Orozco-Duque, Andrés; Tobón, Catalina; Kremen, Vaclav; Novak, Daniel; Saiz, Javier; Oesterlein, Tobias; Schmitt, Clauss; Luik, Armin; Bustamante, John
There is evidence that rotors could be drivers that maintain atrial fibrillation. Complex fractionated atrial electrograms have been located in rotor tip areas. However, the concept of electrogram fractionation, defined using time intervals, is still controversial as a tool for locating target sites for ablation. We hypothesize that the fractionation phenomenon is better described using non-linear dynamic measures, such as approximate entropy, and that this tool could be used for locating the rotor tip. The aim of this work has been to determine the relationship between approximate entropy and fractionated electrograms, and to develop a new tool for rotor mapping based on fractionation levels. Two episodes of chronic atrial fibrillation were simulated in a 3D human atrial model, in which rotors were observed. Dynamic approximate entropy maps were calculated using unipolar electrogram signals generated over the whole surface of the 3D atrial model. In addition, we optimized the approximate entropy calculation using two real multi-center databases of fractionated electrogram signals, labeled in 4 levels of fractionation. We found that the values of approximate entropy and the levels of fractionation are positively correlated. This allows the dynamic approximate entropy maps to localize the tips from stable and meandering rotors. Furthermore, we assessed the optimized approximate entropy using bipolar electrograms generated over a vicinity enclosing a rotor, achieving rotor detection. Our results suggest that high approximate entropy values are able to detect a high level of fractionation and to locate rotor tips in simulated atrial fibrillation episodes. We suggest that dynamic approximate entropy maps could become a tool for atrial fibrillation rotor mapping.
Swaans, Martin J.; Alipour, Arash; Rensing, Benno J.W.M.; Post, Martijn C.; Boersma, Lucas V.A.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, affecting millions of individuals worldwide 1-3. The rapid, irregular, and disordered electrical activity in the atria gives rise to palpitations, fatigue, dyspnea, chest pain and dizziness with or without syncope 4, 5. Patients with AF have a five-fold higher risk of stroke 6. Oral anticoagulation (OAC) with warfarin is commonly used for stroke prevention in patients with AF and has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke by 64% 7. Warfarin therapy has several major disadvantages, however, including bleeding, non-tolerance, interactions with other medications and foods, non-compliance and a narrow therapeutic range 8-11. These issues, together with poor appreciation of the risk-benefit ratio, unawareness of guidelines, or absence of an OAC monitoring outpatient clinic may explain why only 30-60% of patients with AF are prescribed this drug 8. The problems associated with warfarin, combined with the limited efficacy and/or serious side effects associated with other medications used for AF 12,13, highlight the need for effective non-pharmacological approaches to treatment. One such approach is catheter ablation (CA), a procedure in which a radiofrequency electrical current is applied to regions of the heart to create small ablation lesions that electrically isolate potential AF triggers 4. CA is a well-established treatment for AF symptoms 14, 15, that may also decrease the risk of stroke. Recent data showed a significant decrease in the relative risk of stroke and transient ischemic attack events among patients who underwent ablation compared with those undergoing antiarrhythmic drug therapy 16. Since the left atrial appendage (LAA) is the source of thrombi in more than 90% of patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation 17, another approach to stroke prevention is to physically block clots from exiting the LAA. One method for occluding the LAA is via percutaneous placement of the WATCHMAN
Qin, Mu; Liu, Xu; Wu, Shao-Hui; Zhang, Xiao-Dong
Several clinically relevant outcomes post atrial substrate modification in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have not been systematically analyzed among published studies on adjunctive cardiac ganglionated plexi (GP) or complex fractionated atrial electograms (CFAE) ablation vs. pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) alone. Out of 176 reports identified, the present meta-analysis included 14 randomized and non-randomized controlled trials (1613 patients) meeting inclusion criteria. Addition of GP ablation to PVI significantly increased freedom from atrial tachyarrhythmia in short- (OR: 1.72; P = 0.003) and long-term (OR: 2.0, P = 0.0006) follow-up, while adjunctive CFAE ablation did not after one or repeat procedure (P<0.05). The percentage of atrial tachycardia or atrial flutter (AT/AFL) after one procedure was higher for CFAE than GP ablation. In sub-analysis of non-paroxysmal AF, relative to PVI alone, adjunctive GP but not CFAE ablation significantly increased sinus rhythm maintenance (OR: 1.88, P = 0.01; and OR:1.24, P = 0.18, respectively). Meta regression analysis of the 14 studies indicated that sample size was significant source of heterogeneity either in outcomes after one or repeat procedure. In conclusion, in patients with AF, adjunctive GP but not CFAE ablation appeared to significantly add to the beneficial effects on sinus rhythm maintenance of PVI ablation alone; and CFAE ablation was associated with higher incidence of subsequent AT/AFL. PMID:27764185
Qin, Mu; Liu, Xu; Wu, Shao-Hui; Zhang, Xiao-Dong
Several clinically relevant outcomes post atrial substrate modification in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have not been systematically analyzed among published studies on adjunctive cardiac ganglionated plexi (GP) or complex fractionated atrial electograms (CFAE) ablation vs. pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) alone. Out of 176 reports identified, the present meta-analysis included 14 randomized and non-randomized controlled trials (1613 patients) meeting inclusion criteria. Addition of GP ablation to PVI significantly increased freedom from atrial tachyarrhythmia in short- (OR: 1.72; P = 0.003) and long-term (OR: 2.0, P = 0.0006) follow-up, while adjunctive CFAE ablation did not after one or repeat procedure (P<0.05). The percentage of atrial tachycardia or atrial flutter (AT/AFL) after one procedure was higher for CFAE than GP ablation. In sub-analysis of non-paroxysmal AF, relative to PVI alone, adjunctive GP but not CFAE ablation significantly increased sinus rhythm maintenance (OR: 1.88, P = 0.01; and OR:1.24, P = 0.18, respectively). Meta regression analysis of the 14 studies indicated that sample size was significant source of heterogeneity either in outcomes after one or repeat procedure. In conclusion, in patients with AF, adjunctive GP but not CFAE ablation appeared to significantly add to the beneficial effects on sinus rhythm maintenance of PVI ablation alone; and CFAE ablation was associated with higher incidence of subsequent AT/AFL.
Massaro, Ayrton R; Lip, Gregory Y H
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, with an estimated prevalence of 1-2% in North America and Europe. The increased prevalence of AF in Latin America is associated with an ageing general population, along with poor control of key risk factors, including hypertension. As a result, stroke prevalence and associated mortality have increased dramatically in the region. Therefore, the need for effective anticoagulation strategies in Latin America is clear. The aim of this review is to provide a contemporary overview of anticoagulants for stroke prevention. The use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs, eg, warfarin) and aspirin in the prevention of stroke in patients with AF in Latin America remains common, although around one fifth of all AF patients receive no anticoagulation. Warfarin use is complicated by a lack of access to effective monitoring services coupled with an unpredictable pharmacokinetic profile. The overuse of aspirin is associated with significant bleeding risks and reduced efficacy for stroke prevention in this patient group. The non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACbs) represent a potential means of overcoming many limitations associated with VKA and aspirin use, including a reduction in the need for monitoring and a reduced risk of hemorrhagic events. The ultimate decision of which anticoagulant drug to utilize in AF patients depends on a multitude of factors. More research is needed to appreciate the impact of these factors in the Latin American population and thereby reduce the burden of AF-associated stroke in this region. Resumo A fibrilação atrial (FA) é a arritmia cardíaca sustentada mais comum, com uma prevalência estimada de 1-2% na América do Norte e Europa. O aumento da prevalência da FA na América Latina está associado com o envelhecimento da população geral, juntamente com um mal controle dos principais fatores de risco, incluindo a hipertensão arterial. Como resultado, a prevalência do acidente
Lim, Chiao Wen; Kasim, Sazzli; Chua, Nicholas Yul Chye; Najme Khir, Rizmy; Zainal Abidin, Hafisyatul Aiza; Abdul Rahman, Effarezan; Mohd Arshad, Mohd Kamal; Ibrahim Othman, Zubin; Yusoff, Khalid
Background and aim Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. The REDISCOVER (Responding to Increasing Cardiovascular disease prevalence) study is an observational longitudinal community-based study that tracks changing lifestyles, risk factors and chronic disease in urban and rural areas of Malaysia. In this study, we aim to study the prevalence of AF and its associated risk factors. Methods The study was conducted between 2007 and 2014. Participants were required to complete questionnaires on cardiovascular risk factors and medical history, and undergo physical examinations, blood tests, ECG and echocardiography examinations. Demographic variables including weight, height, blood pressure, serum glucose and serum lipid were recorded. Participants with AF were identified from their baseline ECG and at 3-year follow up. Results A total of 10 805 subjects participated in the study. Mean age was 52.6(±11.6) years and 56% were female; 4.4% of subjects had a diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease, 1.3% had a previous stroke, 16.7% had diabetes mellitus and 45.6% had hypertension. There were 53 subjects diagnosed with AF at baseline, giving a prevalence of 0.49%, and 0.54% at 3 years. AF was more prevalent in males (58.5% in the AF group compared to 43.9% in sinus rhythm (SR) subjects; p=0.03) and the older age group. Ischaemic heart disease was more prevalent in AF subjects (22.6%) compared to SR subjects (4.4%) (p<0.001). In the AF group previous stroke had occurred in 1.9% of subjects compared to 1.3% in the SR population (p=0.51), and 24.5% of subjects in the AF group had diabetes compared to 16.6% in the SR group (p=0.12). There was a significant difference in the prevalence of hypertension between the AF group (59.6%) compared to the SR subjects (45.5%) (p=0.04). Conclusions The prevalence of AF in the Malaysian population was low at 0.54% compared to the global average of 1%. We found that AF was
Lee, Jinseok; Reyes, Bersain A; McManus, David D; Maitas, Oscar; Mathias, Oscar; Chon, Ki H
Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects three to five million Americans and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Existing methods to diagnose this paroxysmal arrhythmia are cumbersome and/or expensive. We hypothesized that an iPhone 4S can be used to detect AF based on its ability to record a pulsatile photoplethysmogram signal from a fingertip using the built-in camera lens. To investigate the capability of the iPhone 4S for AF detection, we first used two databases, the MIT-BIH AF and normal sinus rhythm (NSR) to derive discriminatory threshold values between two rhythms. Both databases include RR time series originating from 250 Hz sampled ECG recordings. We rescaled the RR time series to 30 Hz so that the RR time series resolution is 1/30 (s) which is equivalent to the resolution from an iPhone 4S. We investigated three statistical methods consisting of the root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), the Shannon entropy (ShE) and the sample entropy (SampE), which have been proved to be useful tools for AF assessment. Using 64-beat segments from the MIT-BIH databases, we found the beat-to-beat accuracy value of 0.9405, 0.9300, and 0.9614 for RMSSD, ShE, and SampE, respectively. Using an iPhone 4S, we collected 2-min pulsatile time series from 25 prospectively recruited subjects with AF pre- and postelectrical cardioversion. Using derived threshold values of RMSSD, ShE and SampE from the MIT-BIH databases, we found the beat-to-beat accuracy of 0.9844, 0.8494, and 0.9522, respectively. It should be recognized that for clinical applications, the most relevant objective is to detect the presence of AF in the data. Using this criterion, we achieved an accuracy of 100% for both the MIT-BIH AF and iPhone 4S databases.
Corino, Valentina D A; Laureanti, Rita; Ferranti, Lorenzo; Scarpini, Giorgio; Lombardi, Federico; Mainardi, Luca
Undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF) patients are at high risk of cardioembolic stroke or other complications. The aim of this study was to analyze the blood volume pulse (BVP) signals obtained from a wristband device and develop an algorithm for discriminating AF from normal sinus rhythm (NSR) or from other arrhythmias (ARR). Thirty patients with AF, 9 with ARR and 31 in NSR were included in the study. The recordings were obtained at rest from Empatica E4 wristband device and lasted 10 minutes. The analysis, on a two-minute segment, included spectral, variability and irregularity analysis performed on the inter-diastolic interval series, and similarity analysis performed on the BVP signal. Variability parameters were the highest in AF, the lowest in NSR and intermediate for ARR, as an example pNN50 values were, respectively, 81±8, 20±5, 55±27 (p<0.05). The similarity parameters were the highest in NSR, the lowest in AF and intermediate for ARR, as an example using a threshold for assessing similarity of π/4: 0.90±0.09, 0.40±0.20, 0.58±0.23, all p<0.05. The rhythm classification was preceded by over-sampling (using Synthetic Minority Over-sampling Technique) the class of ARR, being it the smallest class. Then, the features selection was performed (using the Sequential Forward Floating Search algorithm) which identified two variability parameters (pNN70 and pNN40) as the best selection. The classification by the k-nearest neighbor classifier reached an accuracy of about 0.9 for NSR and AF, and 0.8 for ARR. Using pNN70 and pNN40, the specificity for the three rhythms was SpNSR=0.928, SpAF=0.963, SpARR=0.768, while the sensitivity was SpNSR=0.773, SpAF=0.754, SpARR=0.758.
Yousuf, Tariq; Ziffra, Jeffrey; Iqbal, Hina; Said, Albara; Oyama, Joseph H.; Lerma, Edgar V.; Chadaga, Amar R.
Background: Acute renal infarction (ARI) is an uncommon and often overlooked diagnosis in patients presenting with acute kidney injury and abdominal pain. Case Reports: We present 2 cases of ARI in the setting of atrial fibrillation along with a review of medical literature pertaining to ARI. Conclusion: This article should aid clinicians in the diagnosis of ARI. PMID:27660583
CONTEXT: Exposure to air pollution can result in the onset of atrial fibrillation. CASE PRESENTATION: We present a case of a 58 year old woman who volunteered to participate in a controlled exposure to concentrated ambient particles (CAPs). Twenty minutes into the exposure, there...
This review discusses the basic pharmacology of new oral anticoagulants that are used for prevention of thromboembolism in patients with atrial fibrillation. It presents available evidence, and provides recommendations for the management of patients requiring invasive procedures in dental practice. PMID:26835072
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common and is an important cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Vitamin D is an emerging risk factor in cardiovascular disease, and vitamin D status is modifiable. Thus, we sought to investigate whether vitamin D status predisposed to the development of AF in ...
Tuinenburg, A; Van Gelder, I C; Den Berg, M P V.; Brugemann, J; De Kam, P J; Crijns, H
OBJECTIVE—To investigate the occurrence of heart failure complications, and to identify variables that predict heart failure in patients with (recurrent) persistent atrial fibrillation, treated aggressively with serial electrical cardioversion and antiarrhythmic drugs to maintain sinus rhythm. DESIGN—Non-randomised controlled trial; cohort; case series; mean (SD) follow up duration 3.4 (1.6) years. SETTING—Tertiary care centre. SUBJECTS—Consecutive sampling of 342 patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (defined as > 24 hours duration) considered eligible for electrical cardioversion. INTERVENTIONS—Serial electrical cardioversions and serial antiarrhythmic drug treatment, after identification and treatment of underlying cardiovascular disease. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—heart failure complications: development or progression of heart failure requiring the institution or addition of drug treatment, hospital admission, or death from heart failure. RESULTS—Development or progression of heart failure occurred in 38 patients (11%), and 22 patients (6%) died from heart failure. These complications were related to the presence of coronary artery disease (p < 0.001, risk ratio 3.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6 to 6.5), rheumatic heart disease (p < 0.001, risk ratio 5.0, 95% CI 2.4 to 10.2), cardiomyopathy (p < 0.001, risk ratio 5.0, 95% CI 2.0 to 12.4), atrial fibrillation for < 3 months (p = 0.04, risk ratio 2.0, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.7), and poor exercise tolerance (New York Heart Association class III at inclusion, p < 0.001, risk ratio 3.5, 95% CI 1.9 to 6.7). No heart failure complications were observed in patients with lone atrial fibrillation. CONCLUSIONS—Aggressive serial electrical cardioversion does not prevent heart failure complications in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. These complications are predominantly observed in patients with more severe underlying cardiovascular disease. Randomised
Greiser, Maura; Neuberger, Hans-Ruprecht; Harks, Erik; El-Armouche, Ali; Boknik, Peter; de Haan, Sunniva; Verheyen, Fons; Verheule, Sander; Schmitz, Wilhelm; Ravens, Ursula; Nattel, Stanley; Allessie, Maurits A; Dobrev, Dobromir; Schotten, Ulrich
Atrial dilatation is an independent risk factor for thromboembolism in patients with and without atrial fibrillation (AF). In many patients, atrial dilatation goes along with depressed contractile function of the dilated atria. While some mechanisms causing atrial contractile dysfunction in fibrillating atria have been addressed previously, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of atrial contractile remodeling in dilated atria are unknown. This study characterized in vivo atrial contractile function in a goat model of atrial dilatation and compared it to a goat model of AF. Differences in the underlying mechanisms were elucidated by studying contractile function, electrophysiology and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load in atrial muscle bundles and by analyzing expression and phosphorylation levels of key Ca2+-handling proteins, myofilaments and the expression and activity of their upstream regulators. In 7 chronically instrumented, awake goats atrial contractile dysfunction was monitored during 3 weeks of progressive atrial dilatation after AV-node ablation (AV block goats (AVB)). In open chest experiments atrial work index (AWI) and refractoriness were measured (10 goats with AVB, 5 goats with ten days of AF induced by repetitive atrial burst pacing (AF), 10 controls). Isometric force of contraction (FC), transmembrane action potentials (APs) and rapid cooling contractures (RCC, a measure of SR Ca2+ load) were studied in right atrial muscle bundles. Total and phosphorylated Ca2+-handling and myofilament protein levels were quantified by Western blot. In AVB goats, atrial size increased by 18% (from 26.6+/-4.4 to 31.6+/-5.5 mm, n=7 p<0.01) while atrial fractional shortening (AFS) decreased (from 18.4+/-1.7 to 12.8+/-4.0% at 400 ms, n=7, p<0.01). In open chest experiments, AWI was reduced in AVB and in AF goats compared to controls (at 400 ms: 8.4+/-0.9, n=7, and 3.2+/-1.8, n=5, vs 18.9+/-5.3 mmxmmHg, n=7, respectively, p<0.05 vs control). FC of isolated right
Crick, J C; Davies, D W; Holt, P; Curry, P V; Sowton, E
Ten patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome underwent cardiac electrophysiological study extended to include the induction of atrial fibrillation at maximum exercise in the upright position. This was performed using a new temporary bipolar lead with a helical active fixation tip for atrial pacing. The highest rate of atrioventricular conduction via the accessory pathway was greater during exercise than at rest in all 10 patients (mean increase 28%). In three cases the resulting ventricular rate exceeded 300 beats/min, but no patient had severe symptoms or ventricular arrhythmias. The exercise induced enhancement of accessory pathway conduction may significantly but unpredictably affect the risk from spontaneous atrial fibrillation especially in patients with coronary artery disease or in those taking antiarrhythmic drugs. The test procedure was sufficiently simple and well tolerated to be included in our routine electrophysiological investigation. PMID:4015920
Diness, Jonas G.; Bentzen, Bo H.; Sørensen, Ulrik S.
Abstract: Small-conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (SK) channels are relative newcomers within the field of cardiac electrophysiology. In recent years, an increased focus has been given to these channels because they might constitute a relatively atrial-selective target. This review will give a general introduction to SK channels followed by their proposed function in the heart under normal and pathophysiological conditions. It is revealed how antiarrhythmic effects can be obtained by SK channel inhibition in a number of species in situations of atrial fibrillation. On the contrary, the beneficial effects of SK channel inhibition in situations of heart failure are questionable and still needs investigation. The understanding of cardiac SK channels is rapidly increasing these years, and it is hoped that this will clarify whether SK channel inhibition has potential as a new anti–atrial fibrillation principle. PMID:25830485
Cornwell, Lorraine D.; Bakshi, Ankur; Rachlin, Eric; Preventza, Ourania; Rosengart, Todd K.; Coselli, Joseph S.; LeMaire, Scott A.; Petersen, Nancy J.; Pattakos, Greg; Bakaeen, Faisal G.
Little is known about the frequency and clinical implications of postoperative atrial fibrillation in military veterans who undergo coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). We examined long-term survival data, clinical outcomes, and associated risk factors in this population. We retrospectively reviewed baseline, intraoperative, and postoperative data from 1,248 consecutive patients with similar baseline risk profiles who underwent primary isolated CABG at a Veterans Affairs hospital from October 2006 through March 2013. Multivariable logistic regression identified predictors of postoperative atrial fibrillation. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to evaluate long-term survival (the primary outcome measure), morbidity, and length of hospital stay. Postoperative atrial fibrillation occurred in 215 patients (17.2%). Independent predictors of this sequela were age ≥65 years (odds ratios [95% confidence intervals], 1.7 [1.3–2.4] for patients of age 65–75 yr and 2.6 [1.4–4.8] for patients >75 yr) and body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 (2.0 [1.2–3.2]). Length of stay was longer for patients with postoperative atrial fibrillation than for those without (12.7 ± 6.6 vs 10.3 ± 8.9 d; P ≤0.0001), and the respective 30-day mortality rate was higher (1.9% vs 0.4%; P=0.014). Seven-year survival rates did not differ significantly. Older and obese patients are particularly at risk of postoperative atrial fibrillation after CABG. Patients who develop the sequela have longer hospital stays than, but similar long-term survival rates to, patients who do not. PMID:27777519
Background Persistent atrial fibrillation frequently shows multiple different electrophysiological mechanisms of induction. This heterogeneity causes a low success rate of single procedures of ablation and a high incidence of recurrence. Surgical ablation through bilateral thoracotomy demonstrates better results after a single procedure. Prospective observational studies in inhomogeneous populations without control groups report a remarkable 90% of success with hybrid or staged procedures of surgical ablation coupled with catheter ablation. In this trial, we will examine the hypothesis that a staged approach involving initial minimally invasive surgical ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation, followed by a second percutaneous procedure in case of recurrence, has a higher success rate than repeated percutaneous procedures. Methods/Design This is a controlled (2:1) randomized trial comparing use of a percutaneous catheter with minimally invasive transthoracic surgical ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation. The inclusion and exclusion criteria, definitions, and treatment protocols are those reported by the 2012 Expert Consensus Statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. Patients will be randomized to either percutaneous catheter (n = 100) or surgical (n = 50) ablation as the first procedure. After 3 months, they are re-evaluated, according to the same guidelines, and receive a second procedure if necessary. Crossover will be allowed and data analyzed on an “intention-to-treat” basis. Primary outcomes are the incidence of sinus rhythm at 6 and 12 months and the proportions of patients requiring a second procedure. Discussion The use of a staged strategy combining surgical and percutaneous approaches might be more favorable in treatment of persistent atrial fibrillation than the controversial single percutaneous ablation. Trial registration ISRCTN08035058 Reg 06.20.2013 PMID:24885377
Orr, Nathan; Arnaout, Rima; Gula, Lorne J.; Spears, Danna A.; Leong-Sit, Peter; Li, Qiuju; Tarhuni, Wadea; Reischauer, Sven; Chauhan, Vijay S.; Borkovich, Matthew; Uppal, Shaheen; Adler, Arnon; Coughlin, Shaun R.; Stainier, Didier Y. R.; Gollob, Michael H.
Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, is a growing epidemic with substantial morbidity and economic burden. Mechanisms underlying vulnerability to AF remain poorly understood, which contributes to the current lack of highly effective therapies. Recognizing mechanistic subtypes of AF may guide an individualized approach to patient management. Here, we describe a family with a previously unreported syndrome characterized by early-onset AF (age <35 years), conduction disease and signs of a primary atrial myopathy. Phenotypic penetrance was complete in all mutation carriers, although complete disease expressivity appears to be age-dependent. We show that this syndrome is caused by a novel, heterozygous p.Glu11Lys mutation in the atrial-specific myosin light chain gene MYL4. In zebrafish, mutant MYL4 leads to disruption of sarcomeric structure, atrial enlargement and electrical abnormalities associated with human AF. These findings describe the cause of a rare subtype of AF due to a primary, atrial-specific sarcomeric defect. PMID:27066836
Tarnowski, Daniel; Poitz, David M; Plichta, Lina; Heidrich, Felix M; Wiedemann, Stephan; Ruf, Tobias; Mierke, Johannes; Löhn, Tobias; Jellinghaus, Stefanie; Strasser, Ruth H; Ibrahim, Karim; Pfluecke, Christian
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is well known for being a major risk factor of thromboembolic stroke. We could recently demonstrate an association of monocyte-platelet aggregates (MPAs) with the degree of thrombogenicity in patients with AF. This study investigated platelet activation markers, as potential biomarkers for the presence of left atrial (LA) thrombus in patients with AF. One hundred and eight patients with symptomatic AF underwent transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) before scheduled cardioversion or pulmonary vein isolation. In order to determine the content of MPAs by flow-cytometric quantification analyses, blood was drawn on the day of TEE. The soluble CD40 Ligand (sCD40L) and soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin) were obtained by Cytometric Bead Arrays (CBA). D-dimer levels were detected by quantitative immunological determination of fibrin degradation products. Clinical, laboratory, and echocardiographic standard parameters were obtained from all patients, including the determination of the flow in the left atrial appendage (LAA). Patients with detected LA thrombus (n = 28) compared with patients without thrombus (n = 80) showed an increased number of common risk factors, such as age, diabetes, heart failure, and coronary artery disease (CAD). The presence of LA thrombus was associated with significantly increased levels of MPAs (147 ± 12 vs. 304 ± 29 per µl; p < 0.00), sCD40L (106.3 ± 31.0 vs. 33.5 ± 2.1 pg/ml, p = 0.027), and D-dimer (0.13 ± 0.02 vs. 0.69 ± 0.21 mg FEU/l, p = 0.015). In contrast, sP-selectin showed no association with LA thrombus. A multivariate regression analysis showed that MPAs, sCD40L as well as D-dimers were independent indicators for the existence of LA thrombus. MPAs above 170 cells/µl indicated LA thrombus with a high sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 73% (OR 62, 95% CI. 6.9-557.2, p < 0.001) in patients with AF, whereas the D-dimer lost their quality as independent indicator by using the conventional cut-off of 0
Soor, Navjeevan; Morgan, Ross; Varela, Marta; Aslanidi, Oleg V.
Radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures are a first-line method of clinical treatment for atrial fibrillation. However, they suffer from suboptimal success rates and are also prone to potentially serious adverse effects. These limitations can be at least partially attributed to the inter- and intra- patient variations in atrial wall thickness, and could be mitigated by patient-specific approaches to the procedure. In this study, a modelling approach to optimising ablation procedures in subject-specific 3D atrial geometries was applied. The approach enabled the evaluation of optimal ablation times to create lesions for a given wall thickness measured from MRI. A nonliner relationship was revealed between the thickness and catheter contact time required for fully transmural lesions. Hence, our approach based on MRI reconstruction of the atrial wall combined with subject-specific modelling of ablation can provide useful information for improving clinical procedures.
Varela, Marta; Hancox, Jules C.; Aslanidi, Oleg V.
Anti-arrhythmic drug therapy is a frontline treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF), but its success rates are highly variable. This is due to incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of action of specific drugs on the atrial substrate at different stages of AF progression. We aimed to elucidate the role of cellular, tissue and organ level atrial heterogeneities in the generation of a re-entrant substrate during AF progression, and their modulation by the acute action of selected anti-arrhythmic drugs. To explore the complex cell-to-organ mechanisms, a detailed biophysical models of the entire 3D canine atria was developed. The model incorporated atrial geometry and fibre orientation from high-resolution micro-computed tomography, region-specific atrial cell electrophysiology and the effects of progressive AF-induced remodelling. The actions of multi-channel class III anti-arrhythmic agents vernakalant and amiodarone were introduced in the model by inhibiting appropriate ionic channel currents according to experimentally reported concentration-response relationships. AF was initiated by applied ectopic pacing in the pulmonary veins, which led to the generation of localized sustained re-entrant waves (rotors), followed by progressive wave breakdown and rotor multiplication in both atria. The simulated AF scenarios were in agreement with observations in canine models and patients. The 3D atrial simulations revealed that a re-entrant substrate was typically provided by tissue regions of high heterogeneity of action potential duration (APD). Amiodarone increased atrial APD and reduced APD heterogeneity and was more effective in terminating AF than vernakalant, which increased both APD and APD dispersion. In summary, the initiation and sustenance of rotors in AF is linked to atrial APD heterogeneity and APD reduction due to progressive remodelling. Our results suggest that anti-arrhythmic strategies that increase atrial APD without increasing its dispersion are
Barallobre-Barreiro, Javier; Gupta, Shashi K.; Zoccarato, Anna; Kitazume-Taneike, Rika; Fava, Marika; Yin, Xiaoke; Werner, Tessa; Hirt, Marc N; Zampetaki, Anna; Viviano, Alessandro; Chong, Mei; Bern, Marshall; Kourliouros, Antonios; Domenech, Nieves; Willeit, Peter; Shah, Ajay M; Jahangiri, Marjan; Schaefer, Liliana; Fischer, Jens W.; Iozzo, Renato V.; Viner, Rosa; Thum, Thomas; Heineke, Joerg; Kichler, Antoine; Otsu, Kinya; Mayr, Manuel
Background Myocardial fibrosis is a feature of many cardiac diseases. We used proteomics to profile glycoproteins in the human cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM). Methods Atrial specimens were analyzed by mass spectrometry after extraction of ECM proteins and enrichment for glycoproteins or glycopeptides. Results ECM-related glycoproteins were identified in left and right atrial appendages from the same patients. Several known glycosylation sites were confirmed. In addition, putative and novel glycosylation sites were detected. Upon enrichment for glycoproteins, peptides of the small leucine-rich proteoglycan decorin were consistently identified in the flow through. Out of all ECM proteins identified, decorin was found to be most fragmented. Within its protein core, eighteen different cleavage sites were identified. In contrast, no cleavage was observed for biglycan, the most closely related proteoglycan. Decorin processing differed between human ventricles and atria and was altered in disease. The C-terminus of decorin, important for the interaction with connective tissue growth factor, was predominantly detected in ventricles compared to atria. In contrast, atrial appendages from patients in persistent atrial fibrillation had higher levels of full-length decorin but also harbored a cleavage site that was not found in atrial appendages from patients in sinus rhythm. This cleavage site preceded the N-terminal domain of decorin that controls muscle growth by altering the binding capacity for myostatin. Myostatin expression was decreased in atrial appendages of patients with persistent atrial fibrillation and hearts of decorin null mice. A synthetic peptide corresponding to this decorin region dose-dependently inhibited the response to myostatin in cardiomyocytes and in perfused mouse hearts. Conclusions This proteomics study is the first to analyse the human cardiac ECM. Novel processed forms of decorin protein core, uncovered in human atrial appendages can regulate
Riesgo, Alba; Sant, Elisenda; Benito, Luisa; Hoyo, Jordi; Miró, Oscar; Mont, Lluís; Bragulat, Ernest; Coll-Vinent, Blanca
Differences in the treatment of atrial fibrillation between men and women were investigated by using patients in a local health district as a reference population. The study included 688 patients (359 female) who presented with atrial fibrillation. Women were older, more frequently had heart failure, and were more often functionally dependent than men. With regards to the management of atrial fibrillation, women were prescribed digoxin more frequently than men, but underwent electrical cardioversion less often, were less frequently seen by a cardiologist, and understood less about their treatment. After stratifying the findings by age and adjusting for heart failure and the degree of functional dependence, it was observed that women aged over 85 years were prescribed digoxin more often than men, while women aged under 65 years underwent cardioversion less often than men. In conclusion, gender differences observed in the treatment of atrial fibrillation cannot be fully explained by differences in clinical characteristics between men and women in the population.
Ma, Nan; Jiang, Zhaolei; Chen, Fei; Yin, Hang; Ding, Fangbao; Mei, Ju
We reported the results of stroke prevention following modified endoscopic procedure for atrial fibrillation. 82 patients underwent modified endoscopic procedure for atrial fibrillation (AF), in whom 47 had paroxysmal, 28 had persistent, and 7 had long-standing atrial fibrillation. CHA2DS2VASC median score was 3 (range from 0 to 8). The procedure was performed on the beating heart, through 3 ports on the left chest wall. Pulmonary vein isolation and ablation of the left atrium were achieved by bipolar radiofrequency ablation. Left atrial appendage (LAA) was excluded by stapler. Brain CT, cardiac CT and 24-h Holter monitoring were performed following the procedure. The procedure was successfully completed for all patients. The mean duration was 122 ± 40.1 min. LAA was excluded after appendectomy and checked by intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography. The mean follow-up duration was 24.3 ± 3.5 months. No patients showed signs and symptoms of transient ischemic attack or stroke. No new positive findings were demonstrated by recurring brain CT scan performed after the procedure. Cardiac CT confirmed the absence of LAA and thrombosis in the left atrium. 87.8 % (72/82) of all patients were in sinus rhythm. Our results demonstrate that the modified endoscopic procedure is a safe, effective, and appropriate treatment for AF, which restores sinus rhythm and may be associated with the prevention of AF-related stroke.
Tribulova, N; Egan Benova, T; Szeiffova Bacova, B; Viczenczova, C; Barancik, M
This review deals with the understanding of the role of key factors of ageing, oxidative stress and inflammation, in relation to development of age-related cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation. Increased production of reactive oxygen species and systemic inflammation promote cardiac structural and electrophysiologic remodeling that is crucial with respect to development and sustaining of atrial fibrillation. Data suggest that alterations in atrial connexin-43 and/or connexin-40 expression, phosphorylation and distribution affect cell-to-cell electrical coupling and molecular signalling that is proarrhythmogenic. However, studies showing causal relationship in the context of pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation are still scarce. Nevertheless, gap junctional connexin channels are considered as targets for arrhythmia prevention and therapeutic interventions aimed at mitochondria-related reactive oxygen species appear to be challenging. In addition, ageing is accompanied by abnormalities in adhesive junctions that most likely promote asynchronous contraction and arrhythmias. It is consistent with recent data that highlight a new perspective in regulation of intercalated disc function via adhesive junctions, fascia adherens and desmosomes. The crosstalk between adhesive and gap junctions is suggested to be implicated in pathogenesis of arrhythmias. On the other hand, modulation of adhesive proteins, N-cadherin and catenin may be promising tool aimed to synchronize heart function. Despite the progress in this field many questions remain to be answered by further research.
Ahmed, Amar; Calvert, Melanie; Lencioni, Mauro; Terwee, Caroline B.; Lane, Deirdre A.
Background Atrial fibrillation is a large and growing burden across all types of healthcare. Both incidence and prevalence are expected to double in the next 20 years, with huge impact on hospital admissions, costs and patient quality of life. Patient wellbeing determines the management strategy for atrial fibrillation, including the use of rhythm control therapy and the clinical success of heart rate control. Hence, evaluation of quality of life is an emerging and important part of the assessment of patients with atrial fibrillation. Although a number of questionnaires to assess quality of life in atrial fibrillation are available, a comprehensive overview of their measurement properties is lacking. Methods and Results We performed a systematic review of the measurement properties of atrial fibrillation-specific health-related quality of life questionnaires. Methodological quality was assessed using the Consensus based Standards for selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist, with measurement properties rated for quality against optimal criteria and levels of evidence. We screened 2,216 articles, of which eight articles describing five questionnaires were eligible for inclusion: Atrial Fibrillation 6 (AF6), Atrial Fibrillation Effect on QualiTy-of-Life (AFEQT), Atrial Fibrillation Quality of Life Questionnaire (AFQLQ), Atrial Fibrillation Quality of Life (AFQoL), and Quality of Life in Atrial Fibrillation (QLAF). Good reliability (internal consistency and test-retest reliability) was demonstrated for AF6, AFEQT, AFQLQ and AFQoL. Content, construct and criterion validity were positively rated only in AFEQT. Responsiveness was positively rated only in AFEQT, but with limited evidence. Overall, AFEQT showed strong positive evidence for 2 of 9 measurement properties, compared to one for AFQoL and none for the remaining questionnaires. Interpretation Given the low ratings for many measurement properties, no single questionnaire can be recommended
Earon, Allison; Handorf, Anna; Fahey, Nisha; Talati, Kandarp; Bostrom, John; Chon, Ki; Napolitano, Craig; Chin, Michael; Sullivan, John; Raithatha, Shyamsundar; Goldberg, Robert; Nimbalkar, Somashekhar; Allison, Jeroan; Thanvi, Sunil; McManus, David
Background Atrial fibrillation, the world’s most common arrhythmia, is a leading risk factor for stroke, a disease striking nearly 1.6 million Indians annually. Early detection and management of atrial fibrillation is a promising opportunity to prevent stroke but widespread screening programs in limited resource settings using conventional methods is difficult and costly. Objective The objective of this study is to screen people for atrial fibrillation in rural western India using a US Food and Drug Administration-approved single-lead electrocardiography device, Alivecor. Methods Residents from 6 villages in Anand District, Gujarat, India, comprised the base population. After obtaining informed consent, a team of trained research coordinators and community health workers enrolled a total of 354 participants aged 50 years and older and screened them at their residences using Alivecor for 2 minutes on 5 consecutive days over a period of 6 weeks beginning June, 2015. Results Almost two-thirds of study participants were 55 years or older, nearly half were female, one-third did not receive any formal education, and more than one-half were from households earning less than US $2 per day. Twelve participants screened positive for atrial fibrillation yielding a sample prevalence of 5.1% (95% CI 2.7-8.7). Only one participant had persistent atrial fibrillation throughout all of the screenings, and 9 screened positive only once. Conclusions Our study suggests a prevalence of atrial fibrillation in this Indian region (5.1%) that is markedly higher than has been previously reported in India and similar to the prevalence estimates reported in studies of persons from North America and Europe. Historically low reported burden of atrial fibrillation among individuals from low and middle-income countries may be due to a lack of routine screening. Mobile technologies may help overcome resource limitations for atrial fibrillation screening in underserved and low-resource settings
Sheinman, Bryan D; Evans, Tom
Amiodarone has proved to be a valuable drug in atrial fibrillation associated with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. When it was administered to a patient with this syndrome in atrial fibrillation, who had previously suffered an inferior myocardial infarction, the ventricular rate accelerated from 170 to 230 beats/minute. This unusual case emphasises the need for full electrophysiological assessment of patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome for whom amiodarone treatment is being considered. Imagesp1000-a PMID:6812745
Botto, G; Politi, A; Bonini, W; Broffoni, T; Bonatti, R
AIM—To define the effect of defibrillator paddle position on technical success and dc shock energy requirements of external cardioversion of atrial fibrillation. METHODS—301 patients (mean (SD) age 62 (11) years) with stable atrial fibrillation were randomly assigned to elective external cardioversion using anterolateral paddle position (ventricular apex-right infraclavicular area; group AL (151 patients)) or anteroposterior paddle position (sternal body-angle of the left scapula; group AP (150 patients)). A step up protocol was used, delivering a 3 J/kg body weight dc shock, then a 4 J/kg shock (maximum 360 J), and finally a second 4 J/kg shock using the alternative paddle location. RESULTS—The two groups were comparable for the all clinical variables evaluated. The cumulative percentage of patients successfully converted to sinus rhythm was 58% in group AL and 67% in group AP with low energy dc shock (NS); this rose to 76% in group AL and to 87% in group AP with high energy dc shock (p = 0.013). Thirty seven patients in group AL and 19 in group AP experienced dc shock with the alternative paddle position; atrial fibrillation persisted in 10/37 in group AL and in 10/19 in group AP. Mean dc shock energy requirements were lower for group AP patients than for group AL patients, at 383 (235) v 451 (287) J, p = 0.025. Arrhythmia duration was the only factor that affected the technical success of external cardioversion (successful: 281 patients, 80 (109) days; unsuccessful: 20 patients, 193 (229) days; p < 0.0001). The success rate was lower if atrial fibrillation persisted for > 6 months: 29 of 37 (78%) v 252 of 264 (95%); p = 0.0001. CONCLUSIONS—An anteroposterior defibrillator paddle position is superior to an anterolateral location with regard to technical success in external cardioversion of stable atrial fibrillation, and permits lower dc shock energy requirements. Arrhythmia duration is the only clinical variable that can
Tinker, Andrew; Finlay, Malcom; Nobles, Muriel; Opel, Aaisha
Atrial fibrillation is the commonest cardiac arrhythmia and leads to significant clinical morbidity and mortality. It has a complex pathophysiology but is often initiated by atrial ectopic beats and because of atrial remodelling once it occurs it can become established. Thus therapeutic interventions designed to prevent the initial occurrence of the arrhythmia are particularly needed. At the cellular level, these ectopic beats arise because of abnormal calcium release events from the sarcoplasmic reticulum leading to an inward current mediated by the sodium-calcium exchanger. There has been considerable interest in this over the last few years largely focused on the ryanodine receptor and related signalling pathways. However, atrial myocytes also possess a well-developed inositol trisphosphate (IP3) dependent calcium release system and this has been less studied. In this review we focus on pathways and molecules that couple via the Gq\\11 family of G-proteins including regulators of G-protein signalling that may influence IP3 mediated calcium release and atrial fibrillation.
Nagasawa, Hidehiko; Fujiki, Akira; Fujikura, Naoki; Matsuda, Tomoyuki; Yamashita, Toru; Inoue, Hiroshi
The effects of a new benzopyran derivative, NIP-142, on atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter (AFL) and on electrophysiological variables were studied in the dog. NIP-142 (3mg/kg) was administered intravenously to pentobarbital-anesthetized beagles during vagally-induced AF and during AFL induced after placement of an intercaval crush. Isolated canine atrial tissues were studied using standard microelectrode technique. NIP-142 terminated AF in 5 of 6 dogs after an increase in fibrillation cycle length (CL) and prevented reinitiation of AF in all 6 dogs. NIP-142 terminated AFL in all 6 dogs without any appreciable change in flutter CL, and prevented reinitiation of AFL in all 6 dogs. NIP-142 prolonged atrial effective refractory periods (11+/-5%, 3+/-3%, 12+/-3%, and 10+/-5% from the baseline value at basic CLs of 150, 200, 300, and 350ms, respectively) without changes in intraatrial conduction time. The prolongation of the atrial effective refractory period was greater in the presence of vagal stimulation. NIP-142 decreased action potential phase-1 notch and increased phase-2 plateau height without making any changes in the action potential duration, although it did reverse carbachol-induced shortening of the action potential duration. In conclusion, NIP-142 is effective in treating AFL and vagally-induced AF by prolonging atrial refractoriness.
Sehar, Nandini; Mears, Jennifer; Bisco, Susan; Patel, Sandeep; Lachman, Nirusha; Asirvatham, Samuel J
After initial documentation of excellent efficacy with radiofrequency ablation, this procedure is being performed increasingly in more complex situations and for more difficult arrhythmia. In these circumstances, an accurate knowledge of the anatomic basis for the ablation procedure will help maintain this efficacy and improve safety. In this review, we discuss the relevant anatomy for electrophysiology interventions for typical right atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, and outflow tract ventricular tachycardia. In the pediatric population, maintaining safety is a greater challenge, and here again, knowing the neighboring and regional anatomy of the arrhythmogenic substrate for these arrhythmias may go a long way in preventing complications. PMID:20811537
Scarsoglio, S; Camporeale, C; Guala, A; Ridolfi, L
Atrial fibrillation (AF) consequences on the heart valve dynamics are usually studied along with a valvular disfunction or disease, since in medical monitoring, the two pathologies are often concomitant. Aim of the present work is to study, through a stochastic lumped-parameter approach, the basic fluid dynamics variations of heart valves, when only paroxysmal AF is present with respect to the normal sinus rhythm in absence of any valvular pathology. Among the most common parameters interpreting the valvular function, the most useful turns out to be the regurgitant volume. During AF, both atrial valves do not seem to worsen their performance, while the ventricular efficiency is remarkably reduced.
Goudis, Christos A; Korantzopoulos, Panagiotis; Ntalas, Ioannis V; Kallergis, Eleftherios M; Liu, Tong; Ketikoglou, Dimitrios G
Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents one of the most important risk factors for atrial fibrillation (AF) while AF is a strong and independent marker of overall mortality and cardiovascular morbidity in diabetic patients. Autonomic, electrical, electromechanical, and structural remodeling, including oxidative stress, connexin remodeling and glycemic fluctuations seem to be implicated in AF pathophysiology in the setting of DM. The present review highlights the association between DM and AF, provides a comprehensive overview of the responsible pathophysiological mechanisms and briefly discusses potential upstream therapies for DM-related atrial remodeling.
Karamichalakis, Nikolaos; Letsas, Konstantinos P; Vlachos, Konstantinos; Georgopoulos, Stamatis; Bakalakos, Athanasios; Efremidis, Michael; Sideris, Antonios
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia affecting elderly patients. Management and treatment of AF in this rapidly growing population of older patients involve a comprehensive assessment that includes comorbidities, functional, and social status. The cornerstone in therapy of AF is thromboembolic protection. Anticoagulation therapy has evolved, using conventional or newer medications. Percutaneous left atrial appendage closure is a new invasive procedure evolving as an alternative to systematic anticoagulation therapy. Rate or rhythm control leads to relief in symptoms, fewer hospitalizations, and an improvement in quality of life. Invasive methods, such as catheter ablation, are the new frontier of treatment in maintaining an even sinus rhythm in this particular population. PMID:26604772
Sun, Yu; Huang, Zi-Yang; Wang, Zhen-Hua; Li, Cui-Ping; Meng, Xian-Liang; Zhang, Yun-Jiao; Su, Feng; Ma, Nan
To investigate the involvement of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 4 (TIMP-4) in influencing the severity of atrial fibrosis in rheumatic heart disease (RHD) patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The degree of myocardial fibrosis was evaluated using Masson staining. The expression levels of TGF-β1, TIMP-4, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), type I collagen, and type III collagen were estimated by Western blot analysis. Additionally, TGF-β1 and TIMP-4 mRNA levels were quantified by qRT-PCR. The effect of TGF-β1 stimulation on TIMP-4 expression was assessed by in vitro stimulation of freshly isolated human atrial fibroblasts with recombinant human TGF-β1, followed by Western blot analysis to detect changes in TIMP-4 levels. Masson stain revealed that the left atrial diameter and collagen volume fraction were obviously increased in AF patients, compared to sinus rhythm (SR) controls (both P < 0.05). Western blot analysis showed significantly elevated levels of the AF markers MMP-2, type I collagen, and type III collagen in the AF group, in comparison to the SR controls (all P < 0.05). In the AF group, TGF-β1 expression was relatively higher, while TIMP-4 expression was apparently lower than the SR group (all P < 0.05). TIMP-4 expression level showed a negative association with TGF-β1 expression level (r = -0.98, P < 0.01) and TGF-β1 stimulation of atrial fibroblasts led to a sharp decrease in TIMP-4 protein level. Increased TGF-β1 expression and decreased TIMP-4 expression correlated with atrial fibrosis and ECM changes in the atria of RHD patients with AF. Notably, TGF-β1 suppressed TIMP-4 expression, suggesting that selective TGF-β1 inhibitors may be useful therapeutic agents.
Severino, Anna; Narducci, Maria L; Pedicino, Daniela; Pazzano, Vincenzo; Giglio, Ada F; Biasucci, Luigi M; Liuzzo, Giovanna; Casella, Michela; Bartoletti, Stefano; Dello Russo, Antonio; Pelargonio, Gemma; Santangeli, Pasquale; Di Biase, Luigi; Natale, Andrea; Crea, Filippo
Alteration of cardiomyocyte gap-junctions and component connexins (Cx) has been suggested to contribute to the development of atrial fibrillation (AF), including postoperative AF. We tested different possible stimuli, such as hypoxia and ischemia, influencing Cx43 and Cx40 expression and distribution in cultured atrial cells (HL-1) and reversibility of these processes after reoxygenation. Western-blot analysis and immunostaining using anti-Cx43, anti-Cx40 and anti-zonula occludens polyclonal antibodies were performed. HL-1 cells exposed to hypoxia for 24 and 48 h showed a reduction of Cx43 protein levels by 75% and 90% respectively (p < 0.001). During reoxygenation following 24 h of hypoxia, Cx43 levels increased to reach the basal level within 48 h, while they remained at low level during reoxygenation following 48 h of hypoxia. Furthermore, atrial cardiomyocytes subjected to simulated ischemia (SI) were incubated in normoxic and hypoxic conditions for 3, 6, 9, 12 h. Atrial cardiomyocytes subjected to SI in addition to normoxia showed a progressive reduction of Cx43 levels beginning from 3 h. During SI and hypoxia, atrial Cx43 levels showed an initial decrease after 3 h with a subsequent rescue beginning from 6 h of exposure (p = 0.001). Hypoxia and ischemia per se downregulate Cx43 protein expression in atrial cardiomyocytes, but protein downregulation is reversible, depending on hypoxia duration and the association of the two triggers. These alterations characterize several conditions and might contribute to the generation of an arrhythmogenic substrate leading to AF onset and/or maintenance.
Li, Wenwen; Janardhan, Ajit H.; Fedorov, Vadim V.; Sha, Qun; Schuessler, Richard B.; Efimov, Igor R.
Background Implantable device therapy of atrial fibrillation (AF) is limited by pain from high-energy shocks. We developed a low-energy multi-stage defibrillation therapy and tested it in a canine model of AF. Methods and Results AF was induced by burst pacing during vagus nerve stimulation. Our novel defibrillation therapy consisted of three stages: ST1 (1-4 low energy biphasic shocks), ST2 (6-10 ultra-low energy monophasic shocks), and ST3 (anti-tachycardia pacing). Firstly, ST1 testing compared single or multiple monophasic (MP) and biphasic (BP) shocks. Secondly, several multi-stage therapies were tested: ST1 versus ST1+ST3 versus ST1+ST2+ST3. Thirdly, three shock vectors were compared: superior vena cava to distal coronary sinus (SVC>CSd), proximal coronary sinus to left atrial appendage (CSp>LAA) and right atrial appendage to left atrial appendage (RAA>LAA). The atrial defibrillation threshold (DFT) of 1BP shock was less than 1MP shock (0.55 ± 0.1 versus 1.38 ± 0.31 J; p =0.003). 2-3 BP shocks terminated AF with lower peak voltage than 1BP or 1MP shock and with lower atrial DFT than 4 BP shocks. Compared to ST1 therapy alone, ST1+ST3 lowered the atrial DFT moderately (0.51 ± 0.46 versus 0.95 ± 0.32 J; p = 0.036) while a three-stage therapy, ST1+ST2+ST3, dramatically lowered the atrial DFT (0.19 ± 0.12 J versus 0.95 ± 0.32 J for ST1 alone, p=0.0012). Finally, the three-stage therapy ST1+ST2+ST3 was equally effective for all studied vectors. Conclusions Three-stage electrotherapy significantly reduces the AF defibrillation threshold and opens the door to low energy atrial defibrillation at or below the pain threshold. PMID:21980076
Alipour, Arash; Wintgens, Lisette I S; Swaans, Martin J; Balt, Jippe C; Rensing, Benno J W M; Boersma, Lucas V A
Atrial fibrillation (AF) remains an important clinical problem with severe complications such as stroke, which especially harms those with risk factors as calculated by the CHADS2 or CHA2DS2-VASc. Until now, no therapy has proven 100% effective against AF. Since the left atrial appendage (LAA) is the most prominent nonvalvular AF-related thromboembolic source and (novel) oral anticoagulant [(N)OAC] carries the hazard of bleeding, LAA occlusion may be an alternative, especially in patients who are ineligible for (N)OAC therapy. In this review, we discuss several LAA occlusion techniques with a focus on the Watchman device since this device is the most thoroughly studied device of all. PMID:28293114
Tanaka, Hikaru; Hashimoto, Norio
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and the risk of stroke. Although currently available antiarrhythmic drugs are moderately effective in restoring normal sinus rhythm in patients with AF, excessive delay of ventricular repolarization by these agents may be associated with increased risk of proarrhythmia. Therefore, selective blockers of cardiac ion channel(s) that are exclusively present in the atria are highly desirable. NIP-142 is a novel benzopyrane derivative, which blocks potassium, calcium, and sodium channels and shows atrial specific action potential duration prolongation. NIP-142 preferentially blocks the ultrarapid delayed rectifier potassium current (I Kur) and the acetylcholine-activated potassium current (I KACh). Since I Kur and I KACh have been shown to be expressed more abundantly in the atrial than in the ventricular myocardium, the atrial-specific repolarization prolonging effect of NIP-142 is considered to be due to the blockade of these potassium currents. In canine models, NIP-142 was shown to terminate the microreentry type AF induced by vagal nerve stimulation and the macroreentry type atrial flutter induced by an intercaval crush. These effects of NIP-142 have been attributed to the prolongation of atrial effective refractory period (ERP), because this compound prolonged atrial ERP without affecting intraatrial and interatrial conduction times in these models. The ERP prolongation by NIP-142 was greater in the atrium than in the ventricle. NIP-142 also terminated the focal activity type AF induced by aconitine. In addition, NIP-142 reversed the atrial ERP shortening and the loss of rate adaptation induced by short-term rapid atrial pacing in anesthetized dogs. Thus, although clinical trials are required to provide evidence for its efficacy and safety, the novel multiple ion channel blocker, NIP-142, appears to be a useful agent for
Ertuğrul, İlker; Akgül, Sinem; Derman, Orhan; Karagöz, Tevfik; Kanbur, Nuray
Studies have shown that a prolonged P-wave dispersion is a risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation. The aim of this study was to evaluate P-wave dispersion in adolescents with anorexia nervosa at diagnosis. We evaluated electrocardiographic findings, particularly the P-wave dispersion, at initial assessment in 47 adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Comparison of P-wave dispersion between adolescents with anorexia nervosa and controls showed a statistically significant higher P-wave dispersion in patients with anorexia nervosa (72 ± 16.3 msec) when compared to the control group (43.8 ± 9.5 msec). Percent of body weight lost, lower body mass index, and higher weight loss rate in the patients with anorexia nervosa had no effect on P-wave dispersion. Due to the fact that anorexia nervosa has a high mortality rate we believe that cardiac pathologies such as atrial fibrillation must also be considered in the medical evaluation.
Galvão Braga, Carlos; Ribeiro, Sílvia; Martins, Juliana; Arantes, Carina; Ramos, Vítor; Primo, João; Magalhães, Sónia; Correia, Adelino
Pheochromocytoma is a rare catecholamine-producing tumor, discovered incidentally in 50% of cases. We present the case of a 44-year-old male with a history of paroxysmal palpitations. Baseline ECG, transthoracic echocardiogram and ECG stress test showed no relevant alterations. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation was detected on 24-hour Holter ECG. After antiarrhythmic therapy, the patient remained symptomatic, and was accordingly referred for electrophysiological study and atrial fibrillation ablation. Anticoagulation was initiated before the procedure. After ablation and still anticoagulated, he complained of hematospermia. The abdominal and pelvic imaging study showed a 10-cm left adrenal mass, predominantly cystic, compatible with pheochromocytoma, which was confirmed after biochemical tests (increased urine metanephrines and plasma catecholamines). Metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy scanning confirmed localized disease in the adrenal gland, excluding other uptake foci. Following appropriate preoperative management, surgical resection of the giant mass was performed successfully and without complications.
Yaghy, Momen; Murin, J; Pernicky, M; Pekarovicova, Z; Mikes, P
For over two decades, valuable insights have been accumulated from epidemiologic studies and randomized trials about the risks and prevention of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation (AF) substantially raises the risk of stroke, most likely through an atrio-embolic mechanism. Warfarin and other members of its class of oral anticoagulants targeted at an international normalized ratio (INR) of 2.5 can abrogate the risk of stroke attributable to AF effectively and fairly safely. High-quality management of anticoagulation can be achieved in usual clinical care. These insights have important implications for the care of individual patients and more generally for public health. Future research is needed to specify the risk of stroke and hemorrhage among patients with AF better, particularly among older individuals, to optimize use of antithrombotic agents, and to define the role of recently developed antithrombotic drugs and invasive nondrug approaches (Tab. 3, Ref. 20). Full Text (Free, PDF) www.bmj.sk.
Li, Xiang; Liu, Haifeng; Du, Xin; Zhang, Ping; Hu, Gang; Xie, Guotong; Guo, Shijing; Xu, Meilin; Xie, Xiaoping
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac rhythm disorder, which increases the risk of ischemic stroke and other thromboembolism (TE). Accurate prediction of TE is highly valuable for early intervention to AF patients. However, the prediction performance of previous TE risk models for AF is not satisfactory. In this study, we used integrated machine learning and data mining approaches to build 2-year TE prediction models for AF from Chinese Atrial Fibrillation Registry data. We first performed data cleansing and imputation on the raw data to generate available dataset. Then a series of feature construction and selection methods were used to identify predictive risk factors, based on which supervised learning methods were applied to build the prediction models. The experimental results show that our approach can achieve higher prediction performance (AUC: 0.71~0.74) than previous TE prediction models for AF (AUC: 0.66~0.69), and identify new potential risk factors as well. PMID:28269876
Li, Xiang; Liu, Haifeng; Du, Xin; Zhang, Ping; Hu, Gang; Xie, Guotong; Guo, Shijing; Xu, Meilin; Xie, Xiaoping
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac rhythm disorder, which increases the risk of ischemic stroke and other thromboembolism (TE). Accurate prediction of TE is highly valuable for early intervention to AF patients. However, the prediction performance of previous TE risk models for AF is not satisfactory. In this study, we used integrated machine learning and data mining approaches to build 2-year TE prediction models for AF from Chinese Atrial Fibrillation Registry data. We first performed data cleansing and imputation on the raw data to generate available dataset. Then a series of feature construction and selection methods were used to identify predictive risk factors, based on which supervised learning methods were applied to build the prediction models. The experimental results show that our approach can achieve higher prediction performance (AUC: 0.71~0.74) than previous TE prediction models for AF (AUC: 0.66~0.69), and identify new potential risk factors as well.
Dézsi, Csaba András; Dézsi, Balázs Bence; Dézsi, Döme András
Coronary artery disease coexists in a clinically relevant number of patients with atrial fibrillation and it often requires percutaneous coronary intervention. These patients represent a particular challenge for clinicians in terms of antithrombotic management. They require combined antiplatelet-anticoagulant therapy to reduce the risk of recurrent ischemic cardiac events and stroke; however, this antithrombotic strategy is associated with an increased risk of bleeding complications. In the absence of randomized, controlled clinical trials, the majority of current recommendations rely on the results of cohort studies, meta-analyses, post-hoc analyses and subgroup analyses of large, phase III studies. Based on the available evidence, the present review discusses the optimal antithrombotic strategy for patients receiving chronic anticoagulant therapy due to atrial fibrillation who require antiplatelet treatment after acute coronary syndrome and/or percutaneous coronary intervention, and discusses the issue of dental procedures. The correct planning of therapy significantly reduces the risk of bleeding complications and thromboembolic events.
Prisco, Domenico; Cenci, Caterina; Silvestri, Elena; Ciucciarelli, Lucia; Di Minno, Giovanni
Atrial fibrillation is the most common rhythm disorder and represents a major public health problem because it carries an increased risk of arterial thromboembolism and ischemic stroke. Current european society of cardiology guidelines recommend to stratify atrial fibrillation patients according to the CHA2DS2-VASc score and to administer anticoagulation, preferably with novel oral anticoagulants, that is, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, or apixaban, if the CHA2DS2-VASc score is at least 1. All novel anticoagulants have shown the same, if not greater, efficacy and safety as warfarin, with some advantages. The choice among the novel oral anticoagulants depends on their different pharmacokinetic profile, patients' stroke and bleeding risk, comorbidities, drug tolerability and costs and, finally, patients' preferences.
The purpose of this study was to determine the role of health locus of control in the model of uncertainty in illness among patients with atrial fibrillation. This study employed a descriptive, correlational survey. A total of 81 patients with atrial fibrillation were recruited from two large medical centers in the United States. Only the interaction term of uncertainty and internal health locus of control had a significant moderating effect on appraisal of danger. Greater internal health locus of control was associated with greater appraisal of danger at the given degree of uncertainty. Therefore, the internal health locus of control played a significant role in magnifying the relationship of uncertainty on appraisal of danger. However, health locus of control did not moderate the relationship between uncertainty and appraisal of opportunity. Finally, this study concluded that internal health locus of control had a moderating effect on the relationship between uncertainty and appraisal of danger.
Krasner, Andrew; Halperin, Jonathan L
Patients with atrial fibrillation who have risk factors for thromboembolism benefit from chronic oral anticoagulation therapy, and antiplatelet therapy alone is of relatively little benefit for prevention of ischemic stroke and systemic embolism. Patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stents require dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and a thienopyridine for 3 to 12 months or more prevention of stent thrombosis and recurrent ischemic events. When patients with atrial fibrillation undergo percutaneous coronary intervention, the need to combine dual antiplatelet therapy and warfarin raises the risk of major bleeding complications considerably. Recent trials have explored the option of omitting aspirin with promising results. The introduction of novel oral anticoagulants that specifically inhibit factor IIa (dabigatran) or factor Xa (rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban) and antiplatelet agents that inhibit the P(2)Y(12) receptor (prasugrel and ticagrelor) makes management of these patients even more challenging, but future trials addressing myriad alternative regimens may identify better tolerated strategies.
Cryptogenic strokes are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Identifying the underlying cause of cryptogenic stroke is imperative for appropriate short and long-term management of these patients. In particular, detecting atrial fibrillation in cryptogenic stroke patients may shed insight into the cause of the index stroke, but is also important to identify an important cause of secondary stroke. There is accumulating evidence indicating that monitoring for durations beyond the guideline recommended 30 day-period results in greater atrial fibrillation yield. This article reviews current guidelines and practices for the diagnosis of cryptogenic stroke, as well as outpatient cardiac monitoring options available, and focuses on the role that hospitalists have to play in the care of these patients.
Gastric volvulus is a rare and life-threatening condition that involves the abnormal rotation of the stomach around its axis by more than 180°. The association between acute gastric volvulus and atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response is rare with only few cases that have been reported. Our patient was an 86-year-old female who presented with upper abdominal pain, distension, nausea, and shortness of breath. Clinical and laboratory workup revealed acute gastric volvulus with diaphragmatic hernia. On presentation, she was also in atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. She was successfully treated by laparotomy with reduction of the gastric volvulus and repair of the diaphragmatic hernia, with significant improvement. PMID:28373916
Mischke, Karl; Knackstedt, Christian; Marx, Nikolaus
Anticoagulation represents the mainstay of therapy for most patients with atrial fibrillation. Patients on oral anticoagulation often require concomitant antiplatelet therapy, mostly because of coronary artery disease. After coronary stent implantation, dual antiplatelet therapy is necessary. However, the combination of oral anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy increases the bleeding risk. Risk scores such as the CHA2DS2-Vasc score and the HAS-BLED score help to identify both bleeding and stroke risk in individual patients. The guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology provide a rather detailed recommendation for patients on oral anticoagulation after coronary stent implantation. However, robust evidence is lacking for some of the recommendations, and especially for new oral anticoagulants and new antiplatelets few or no data are available. This review addresses some of the critical points of the guidelines and discusses potential advantages of new anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation after stent implantation. PMID:22577538
Bulanova, N A; Stazhadze, L L; Alekseeva, L A; Dubrovina, E V; Dorofeeva, E V
Prevalence of atrial fibrillation among patients attending our policlinic (2.44 and 3.78% in 2002 and 2009, respectively) was higher among men than among women and progressively increased with age achieving maximum in the group of patients aged more or equal 85 years. Paroxysmal and persistent forms were more frequent than permanent AF. Thromboembolic complications, heart failure and valvular heart disease were to a greater degree characteristic of permanent AF.
Vitamin K Antagonists (VKAs) are widely used in clinical practice and nearly 1% of the entire population receives oral anticoagulation at least once in life. However, the rate of prescription of anticoagulation is low, compared to what it should be. No more than 50-60% of patients affected by atrial fibrillation (AF) receive anticoagulation. In the setting of AF, VKAs are safe and effective when properly managed, reducing stroke and systemic embolism by more than 60%. VKAs safety and effectiveness are closely related to the quality of anticoagulation (e.g. time in therapeutic range), and anticoagulation clinics offer the best management of anticoagulant therapy. However, a sizeable proportion of patients are managed elsewhere. In clinical practice, in the setting of AF, a low prescription rate of VKAs is frequently observed and this is due also to difficulties in managing laboratory monitoring and drug dose adjustment. The suboptimal management of therapy with VKAs leads to a lesser efficacy than that reported in clinical trials, and to an increase in adverse reactions. VKAs still remain the first and only available therapy for a number of diseases (e.g. valvular atrial fibrillation and mechanical prosthetic heart valves). Now, since approval of the new oral anticoagulants (NOAs), the choice of anticoagulant therapy in definite settings, such as stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (SPAF) or treatment of venous thromboembolism, has surely become more intriguing but also more problematic. In light of these new therapeutic options, we reviewed VKAs therapy, in the setting of atrial fibrillation, focusing on VKAs impact in real life. We analyzed the data about efficacy and safety of warfarin at three levels: clinical trial and real life, outside and inside anticoagulation clinics. PMID:24548437
Roman, Crina; Bruley des Varannes, Stanislas; Muresan, Lucian; Picos, Alina; Dumitrascu, Dan L
AIM: To analyze the potential relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the development of atrial fibrillation (AF). METHODS: Using the key words “atrial fibrillation and gastroesophageal reflux”, “atrial fibrillation and esophagitis, peptic”, “atrial fibrillation and hernia, hiatal” the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, OVIDSP, WILEY databases were screened for relevant publications on GERD and AF in adults between January 1972-December 2013. Studies written in languages other than English or French, studies not performed in humans, reviews, case reports, abstracts, conference presentations, letters to the editor, editorials, comments and opinions were not taken into consideration. Articles treating the subject of radiofrequency ablation of AF and the consecutive development of GERD were also excluded. RESULTS: Two thousand one hundred sixty-one titles were found of which 8 articles met the inclusion criteria. The presence of AF in patients with GERD was reported to be between 0.62%-14%, higher compared to those without GERD. Epidemiological data provided by these observational studies showed that patients with GERD, especially those with more severe GERD-related symptoms, had an increased risk of developing AF compared with those without GERD, but a causal relationship between GERD and AF could not be established based on these studies. The mechanisms of AF as a consequence of GERD remain largely unknown, with inflammation and vagal stimulation playing a possible role in the development of these disorders. Treatment with proton pomp inhibitors may improve symptoms related to AF and facilitate conversion to sinus rhythm. CONCLUSION: Although links between AF and GERD exist, large randomized clinical studies are required for a better understanding of the relationship between these two entities. PMID:25071357
Simpson, J.R.; Zahuranec, D.B.; Lisabeth, L.D.; Sánchez, B.N.; Skolarus, L.E.; Mendizabal, J.E.; Smith, M.A.; Garcia, N.M.; Morgenstern, L.B.
Background and Purpose Atrial fibrillation is a common cause of stroke with a known preventative treatment. We compared post-stroke recurrence and survival in Mexican Americans (MAs) and non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) with atrial fibrillation in a population-based study. Methods Using surveillance methods from the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) Project, cases of ischemic stroke/TIA with atrial fibrillation were prospectively identified January 2000-June 2008. Recurrent stroke and all-cause mortality were compared by ethnicity with survival analysis methods. Results A total of 236 patients were available (88 MA, 148 NHW). MAs were younger than NHWs, with no ethnic differences in severity of the first stroke or proportion discharged on warfarin. MAs had a higher risk of stroke recurrence than NHWs (Kaplan Meier estimates of survival free of stroke recurrence risk at 28-days and 1-year were 0.99 and 0.85 in MAs and 0.98 and 0.96 in NHWs; p=0.01, log-rank test), which persisted despite adjustment for age and gender (hazard ratio 2.46, 95% CI: 1.19, 5.11). Severity of the recurrent stroke was higher in MAs than in NHWs (p=0.02). There was no ethnic difference in survival after stroke in unadjusted analysis or after adjusting for demographics and clinical factors (hazard ratio 1.03, 95% CI: 0.63–1.67). Conclusions MAs with atrial fibrillation have a higher stroke recurrence risk and more severe recurrences than NHWs, but no difference in all-cause mortality. Aggressive stroke prevention measures focused on MAs are warranted. PMID:20829515
Lerario, Michael P.; Gialdini, Gino; Lapidus, Daniel M.; Shaw, Mesha M.; Navi, Babak B.; Merkler, Alexander E.; Lip, Gregory Y. H.; Healey, Jeff S.; Kamel, Hooman
Background We aimed to estimate the risk of ischemic stroke after intracranial hemorrhage in patients with atrial fibrillation. Materials and Methods Using discharge data from all nonfederal acute care hospitals and emergency departments in California, Florida, and New York from 2005 to 2012, we identified patients at the time of a first-recorded encounter with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. Ischemic stroke and intracranial hemorrhage were identified using validated diagnosis codes. Kaplan-Meier survival statistics and Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to evaluate cumulative rates of ischemic stroke and the relationship between incident intracranial hemorrhage and subsequent stroke. Results Among 2,084,735 patients with atrial fibrillation, 50,468 (2.4%) developed intracranial hemorrhage and 89,594 (4.3%) developed ischemic stroke during a mean follow-up period of 3.2 years. The 1-year cumulative rate of stroke was 8.1% (95% CI, 7.5–8.7%) after intracerebral hemorrhage, 3.9% (95% CI, 3.5–4.3%) after subdural hemorrhage, and 2.0% (95% CI, 2.0–2.1%) in those without intracranial hemorrhage. After adjustment for the CHA2DS2-VASc score, stroke risk was elevated after both intracerebral hemorrhage (hazard ratio [HR], 2.8; 95% CI, 2.6–2.9) and subdural hemorrhage (HR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.5–1.7). Cumulative 1-year rates of stroke ranged from 0.9% in those with subdural hemorrhage and a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 0, to 33.3% in those with intracerebral hemorrhage and a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 9. Conclusions In a large, heterogeneous cohort, patients with atrial fibrillation faced a substantially heightened risk of ischemic stroke after intracranial hemorrhage. The risk was most marked in those with intracerebral hemorrhage and high CHA2DS2-VASc scores. PMID:26701759
Sogut, Ozgur; Kaya, Halil; Gokdemir, Mehmet T; Sayhan, Mustafa B; Halis, Nurkal
Thousands of snake bites occur in the world each year, with hundreds of patients receiving antivenom. Incidence rates for immediate hypersensitivity reactions associated with the use of antivenom range vary. This is a case report of a patient with atrial fibrillation (AF) and transient ischemic attack (TIA) induced by vigrous snake bite that was suspected to be caused by the treatment of subcutaneous epinephrine, due to immediate hypersensitivity reaction following the administration of antivenom treatment.
Providência, Rui; Gonçalves, Lino; Ferreira, Maria João
Cerebrovascular disease has long been the leading cause of death in Portugal. Despite improvements in the treatment of hypertension and the resulting decrease in associated mortality, the progressive aging of the population and increased prevalence of atrial fibrillation have prevented the incidence of stroke from falling as much as desired. The authors review the evidence on the situation in Portugal and propose an intervention plan.
Owens, Ryan E; Kabra, Rajesh; Oliphant, Carrie S
Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are indicated for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), which, according to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/Heart Rhythm Society atrial fibrillation (AF) guidelines, excludes patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis, a mechanical or bioprosthetic heart valve, or mitral valve repair. However, the data regarding use of DOACs in AF patients with other types of valvular heart disease (VHD) are unclear. We aimed to summarize and evaluate the literature regarding the safety and efficacy of DOAC use in NVAF patients with other types of VHD. After an extensive literature search, a total of 1 prospective controlled trial, 4 subanalyses, and 1 abstract were identified. Efficacy of the DOAC agents in NVAF patients with VHD mirrored the overall trial results. Bleeding risk was significantly increased in VHD patients treated with rivaroxaban, but not for dabigatran or apixaban. Of the bioprosthetic valve patients enrolled in the Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation (ARISTOTLE) trial, no safety or efficacy concerns were identified. In conclusion, subanalyses of DOAC landmark AF trials revealed that dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban may be safely used in AF patients with certain types of VHD: aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, and mitral regurgitation. More evidence is needed before routinely recommending these agents for patients with bioprosthetic valves or mild mitral stenosis. Patients with moderate to severe mitral stenosis or mechanical valves should continue to receive warfarin, as these patients were excluded from all landmark AF trials.
Sopher, S. M.; Murgatroyd, F. D.; Slade, A. K.; Blankoff, I.; Rowland, E.; Ward, D. E.; Camm, A. J.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy of internal cardioversion using low energy shocks delivered with a biatrial electrode configuration in chronic atrial fibrillation resistant to transthoracic shocks. METHODS: Low energy internal cardioversion was attempted in 11 patients who had been in atrial fibrillation for 233 (SD 193) days and had failed to cardiovert with transthoracic shocks of 360 J in both apex-base and anterior-posterior positions. Synchronised biphasic shocks of up to 400 V (approximately 6 J) were delivered, usually with intravenous sedation only, between high surface area electrodes in the right atrium and the left atrium (coronary sinus in nine, left pulmonary artery in one, left atrium via patent foramen ovale in one). RESULTS: Sinus rhythm was restored in 8/11 patients. The mean leading edge voltage of successful shocks was 363 (46) V [4.9 (1.2) J]. Higher energy shocks induced transient bradycardia [time to first R wave 1955 (218) ms]. No proarrhythmia or other acute complications were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Low energy internal cardioversion of atrial fibrillation can restore sinus rhythm in patients in whom conventional transthoracic shocks have failed. Images PMID:8697172
In a recent article in the Journal, we have reviewed the adverse cardiovascular outcomes observed with digoxin use in the PALLAS study.(1) The PALLAS study was designed to determine if dronedarone would reduce major vascular events in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation (AF).(2) However the study was stopped early because of safety reasons, as a significant number of patients on the dronedarone arm reached the co-primary end point composite of stroke, myocardial infarction, systemic embolism, or cardiovascular death. Data sub-analyses suggested that digoxin-dronedarone interaction was responsible for the higher arrhythmic death rate observed in the trial. These observations are consistent with several other studies that demonstrate the potential hazard of the use of digoxin in heart failure and/or atrial fibrillation. A more recent article published in the Lancet studied the use and outcomes of digoxin in the Rivaroxaban Once Daily Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared with Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism in Atrial Fibrillation (ROCKET AF) trial.(3) The investigators concluded that digoxin treatment was associated with a significant increase in all-cause mortality, vascular death, and sudden death in patients with AF.
Lahaye, S; Regpala, S; Lacombe, S; Sharma, M; Gibbens, S; Ball, D; Francis, K
Patient's values and preferences regarding the relative importance of preventing strokes and avoiding bleeding are now recognised to be of great importance in deciding on therapy for the prevention of stroke due to atrial fibrillation (SPAF). We used an iPad questionnaire to determine the minimal clinically important difference (Treatment Threshold) and the maximum number of major bleeding events that a patient would be willing to endure in order to prevent one stroke (Bleeding Ratio) for the initiation of antithrombotic therapy in 172 hospital in-patients with documented non-valvular atrial fibrillation in whom anticoagulant therapy was being considered. Patients expressed strong opinions regarding SPAF. We found that 12% of patients were "medication averse" and were not willing to consider antithrombotic therapy; even if it was 100% effective in preventing strokes. Of those patients who were willing to consider antithrombotic therapy, 42% were identified as "risk averse" and 15% were "risk tolerant". Patients required at least a 0.8% (NNT=125) annual absolute risk reduction and 15% relative risk reduction in the risk of stroke in order to agree to initiate antithrombotic therapy, and patients were willing to endure 4.4 major bleeds in order to prevent one stroke. In conclusion, there was a substantial amount of inter-patient variability, and often extreme differences in opinion regarding tolerance of bleeding risk in the context of stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. These findings highlight the importance of considering patient preferences when deciding on SPAF therapy.
Chen, Jian; Dagres, Nikolaos; Hocini, Melece; Fauchier, Laurent; Bongiorni, Maria Grazia; Defaye, Pascal; Hernandez-Madrid, Antonio; Estner, Heidi; Sciaraffia, Elena; Blomström-Lundqvist, Carina
The European Snapshot Survey on Procedural Routines in Atrial Fibrillation Ablation (ESS-PRAFA) is a prospective, multicentre snapshot survey collecting patient-based data on current clinical practices during atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. The participating centres were asked to prospectively enrol consecutive patients during a 6-week period (from September to October 2014). A web-based case report form was employed to collect information of patients and data of procedures. A total of 455 eligible consecutive patients from 13 countries were enrolled (mean age 59 ± 10.8 years, 28.8% women). Distinct strategies and endpoints were collected for AF ablation procedures. Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) was performed in 96.7% and served as the endpoint in 91.3% of procedures. A total of 52 (11.5%) patients underwent ablation as first-line therapy. The cryoballoon technique was employed in 31.4% of procedures. Procedure, ablation, and fluoroscopy times differed among various types of AF ablation. Divergences in patient selection and complications were observed among low-, medium-, and high-volume centres. Adverse events were observed in 4.6% of AF ablation procedures. In conclusion, PVI was still the main strategy for AF ablation. Procedure-related complications seemed not to have declined. The centre volume played an important role in patient selection, strategy choice, and had impact on the rate of periprocedural complication.
Sheikh, Azfar; Patel, Nileshkumar J; Nalluri, Nikhil; Agnihotri, Kanishk; Spagnola, Jonathan; Patel, Aashay; Asti, Deepak; Kanotra, Ritesh; Khan, Hafiz; Savani, Chirag; Arora, Shilpkumar; Patel, Nilay; Thakkar, Badal; Patel, Neil; Pau, Dhaval; Badheka, Apurva O; Deshmukh, Abhishek; Kowalski, Marcin; Viles-Gonzalez, Juan; Paydak, Hakan
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent arrhythmia worldwide and the most common arrhythmia leading to hospitalization. Due to a substantial increase in incidence and prevalence of AF over the past few decades, it attributes to an extensive economic and public health burden. The increasing number of hospitalizations, aging population, anticoagulation management, and increasing trend for disposition to a skilled facility are drivers of the increasing cost associated with AF. There has been significant progress in AF management with the release of new oral anticoagulants, use of left atrial catheter ablation, and novel techniques for left atrial appendage closure. In this article, we aim to review the trends in epidemiology, hospitalization, and cost of AF along with its future implications on public health.
Sánchez-Quintana, Damián; López-Mínguez, José Ramón; Pizarro, Gonzalo; Murillo, Margarita; Cabrera, José Angel
The definition of atrial fibrillation (AF) as a functional electrical disorder does not reflect the significant underlying structural abnormalities. Atrial and Pulmonary Vein (PV) muscle sleeve microstructural remodeling is present, and establishes a vulnerable substrate for AF maintenance. In spite of an incomplete understanding of the anatomo-functional basis for AF, current evidence demonstrates that this arrhythmia usually requires a trigger for initiation and a vulnerable electrophysiological and/or anatomical substrate for maintenance. It is still unclear whether the trigger mechanisms include focal enhanced automaticity, triggered activity and/or micro re-entry from myocardial tissue. Initiation of AF can be favored by both parasympathetic and sympathetic stimulation, which also seem to play a role in maintaining AF. Finally, evolving clinical evidence demonstrates that inflammation is associated with new-onset and recurrent AF through a mechanism that possibly involves cellular degeneration, apoptosis, and subsequent atrial fibrosis. PMID:22920484
Yang, Baode; Li, Chenxing; Sun, Junyi; Wang, Xinghui; Liu, Xinling; Yang, Chun; Chen, Lina; Zhou, Jun; Hu, Hao
Excessive consumption of alcohol is a well-established risk factor of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the effects of moderate alcohol drinking remain to be elucidated. This study was designed to determine the effects of moderate ethanol ingestion on atrial fibrillation and the electrophysiological mechanisms. In acetylcholine-induced canine and mouse AF models, the moderate ethanol prevented the generation and persistence of AF through prolonging the latent period of AF and shortening the duration of AF. The action potential duration (APD) was remarkably prolonged under the concentration range of 12.5-50.0mM ethanol in guinea pig atrial myocytes. Ultra-rapid delayed rectified potassium currents (IKv1.5) were markedly inhibited by 12.5-50.0mM ethanol in a concentration-dependent manner. Ethanol with 50.0mM could inhibit rapid delayed rectifier potassium currents (IhERG). Ethanol under 6.25-50.0mM did not affect on inward rectifier potassium currents (IKir2.1). Collectively, the present study provided an evidence that moderate ethanol intake can prolong the APD of atrial myocytes by inhibition of IKv1.5 and IhERG, which contributed to preventing the development and duration of AF.
Burashnikov, Alexander; Petroski, Alyssa; Hu, Dan; Barajas-Martinez, Hector; Antzelevitch, Charles
BACKGROUND Wenxin Keli is a Chinese herb extract reported to be of benefit in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac inflammation and heart failure. METHODS AND RESULTS We evaluated the electrophysiologic effects of Wenxin Keli in isolated canine arterially-perfused right atrial preparations with a rim of right ventricular tissue (n=11). Transmembrane action potentials and a pseudo-electrocardiogram were simultaneously recorded. Acetylcholine (ACh, 1 μM) was used to induce atrial fibrillation (AF) and to test the anti-AF potential of Wenxin Keli (5 g/L). Wenxin Keli produced preferential abbreviation of action potential duration (APD90) in atria, but caused atrial-selective prolongation of effective refractory period, due to development of post-repolarization refractoriness. The maximum rate of rise of the action potential upstroke (Vmax) was preferentially reduced in atria. Diastolic threshold of excitation increased in both atria and ventricles, but much more in atria. The duration of the “P wave” (index of atrial conduction time) was prolonged to a much greater extent than the duration of the “QRS complex” (index of ventricular conduction time). Wenxin Keli significantly reduced INa and shifted steady-state inactivation to more negative potentials in HEK293 cells stably expressing SCN5A. Wenxin Keli prevented induction of persistent AF in 100% atria (6/6) and, in another experimental series was found to terminate persistent ACh-mediated AF in 100% of atria (3/3). CONCLUSION Wenxin Keli produces atrial-selective depression of INa-dependent parameters in canine isolated coronary perfused preparations via a unique mechanism and is effective in suppressing AF and preventing its induction, with minimal effects on ventricular electrophysiology. PMID:21884675
Reddy, Vivek Y.; Akehurst, Ronald L.; Armstrong, Shannon O.; Amorosi, Stacey L.; Brereton, Nic; Hertz, Deanna S.; Holmes, David R.
Aims Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with contraindications to oral anticoagulation have had few options for stroke prevention. Recently, a novel oral anticoagulant, apixaban, and percutaneous left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) have emerged as safe and effective therapies for stroke risk reduction in these patients. This analysis assessed the cost effectiveness of LAAC with the Watchman device relative to apixaban and aspirin therapy in patients with non-valvular AF and contraindications to warfarin therapy. Methods and results A cost-effectiveness model was constructed using data from three studies on stroke prevention in patients with contraindications: the ASAP study evaluating the Watchman device, the ACTIVE A trial of aspirin and clopidogrel, and the AVERROES trial evaluating apixaban. The cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted from a German healthcare payer perspective over a 20-year time horizon. Left atrial appendage closure yielded more quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) than aspirin and apixaban by 2 and 4 years, respectively. At 5 years, LAAC was cost effective compared with aspirin with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of €16 971. Left atrial appendage closure was cost effective compared with apixaban at 7 years with an ICER of €9040. Left atrial appendage closure was cost saving and more effective than aspirin and apixaban at 8 years and remained so throughout the 20-year time horizon. Conclusions This analysis demonstrates that LAAC with the Watchman device is a cost-effective and cost-saving solution for stroke risk reduction in patients with non-valvular AF who are at risk for stroke but have contraindications to warfarin. PMID:26838691
Remane, Lisa; Mollenhauer, Martin; Rudolph, Volker; Rudolph, Tanja K.; Andrié, René P.; Stöckigt, Florian; Schrickel, Jan W.; Ravekes, Thorben; Deuschl, Florian; Nickenig, Georg; Willems, Stephan; Baldus, Stephan; Klinke, Anna
Background Recent observational clinical and ex-vivo studies suggest that inflammation and in particular leukocyte activation predisposes to atrial fibrillation (AF). However, whether local binding and extravasation of leukocytes into atrial myocardium is an essential prerequisite for the initiation and propagation of AF remains elusive. Here we investigated the role of atrial CD11b/CD18 mediated infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) for the susceptibility to AF. Methods and Results C57bl/6J wildtype (WT) and CD11b/CD18 knock-out (CD11b−/−) mice were treated for 14 days with subcutaneous infusion of angiotensin II (Ang II), a known stimulus for PMN activation. Atria of Ang II-treated WT mice were characterized by increased PMN infiltration assessed in immunohistochemically stained sections. In contrast, atrial sections of CD11b−/− mice lacked a significant increase in PMN infiltration upon Ang II infusion. PMN infiltration was accompanied by profoundly enhanced atrial fibrosis in Ang II treated WT as compared to CD11b−/− mice. Upon in-vivo electrophysiological investigation, Ang II treatment significantly elevated the susceptibility for AF in WT mice if compared to vehicle treated animals given an increased number and increased duration of AF episodes. In contrast, animals deficient of CD11b/CD18 were entirely protected from AF induction. Likewise, epicardial activation mapping revealed decreased electrical conduction velocity in atria of Ang II treated WT mice, which was preserved in CD11b−/− mice. In addition, atrial PMN infiltration was enhanced in atrial appendage sections of patients with persistent AF as compared to patients without AF. Conclusions The current data critically link CD11b-integrin mediated atrial PMN infiltration to the formation of fibrosis, which promotes the initiation and propagation of AF. These findings not only reveal a mechanistic role of leukocytes in AF but also point towards a potential novel avenue of
Background Atrial fibrillation is a serious public health problem posing a considerable burden to not only patients, but the healthcare environment due to high rates of morbidity, mortality, and medical resource utilization. There are limited data on the variation in treatment practice patterns across different countries, healthcare settings and the associated health outcomes. Methods/design RHYTHM-AF was a prospective observational multinational study of management of recent onset atrial fibrillation patients considered for cardioversion designed to collect data on international treatment patterns and short term outcomes related to cardioversion. We present data collected in 10 countries between May 2010 and June 2011. Enrollment was ongoing in Italy and Brazil at the time of data analysis. Data were collected at the time of atrial fibrillation episode in all countries (Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), and cumulative follow-up data were collected at day 60 (±10) in all but Spain. Information on center characteristics, enrollment data, patient demographics, detail of atrial fibrillation episode, medical history, diagnostic procedures, acute treatment of atrial fibrillation, discharge information and the follow-up data on major events and rehospitalizations up to day 60 were collected. Discussion A total of 3940 patients were enrolled from 175 acute care centers. 70.5% of the centers were either academic (44%) or teaching (26%) hospitals with an overall median capacity of 510 beds. The sites were mostly specialized with anticoagulation clinics (65.9%), heart failure (75.1%) and hypertension clinics (60.1%) available. The RHYTHM-AF registry will provide insight into regional variability of antiarrhythmic and antithrombotic treatment of atrial fibrillation, the appropriateness of such treatments with respect to outcomes, and their cost-efficacy. Observations will help inform strategies to improve
Monrad, Maria; Sajadieh, Ahmad; Christensen, Jeppe Schultz; Ketzel, Matthias; Raaschou-Nielsen, Ole; Tjønneland, Anne; Overvad, Kim; Loft, Steffen; Sørensen, Mette
Background: Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia and is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The few studies conducted on short-term effects of air pollution on episodes of atrial fibrillation indicate a positive association, though not consistently. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term impact of traffic-related air pollution on incidence of atrial fibrillation in the general population. Methods: In the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health cohort of 57,053 people 50–64 years old at enrollment in 1993–1997, we identified 2,700 cases of first-ever hospital admission for atrial fibrillation from enrollment to end of follow-up in 2011. For all cohort members, exposure to traffic-related air pollution assessed as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) was estimated at all present and past residential addresses from 1984 to 2011 using a validated dispersion model. We used Cox proportional hazard model to estimate associations between long-term residential exposure to NO2 and NOx and risk of atrial fibrillation, after adjusting for lifestyle and socioeconomic position. Results: A 10 μg/m3 higher 10-year time-weighted mean exposure to NO2 preceding diagnosis was associated with an 8% higher risk of atrial fibrillation [incidence rate ratio: 1.08; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01, 1.14] in adjusted analysis. Though weaker, similar results were obtained for long-term residential exposure to NOx. We found no clear tendencies regarding effect modification of the association between NO2 and atrial fibrillation by sex, smoking, hypertension or myocardial infarction. Conclusion: We found long-term residential traffic-related air pollution to be associated with higher risk of atrial fibrillation. Accordingly, the present findings lend further support to the demand for abatement of air pollution. Citation: Monrad M, Sajadieh A, Christensen JS, Ketzel M, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Tjønneland A, Overvad K
Clementy, Nicolas; Benhenda, Nazih; Piver, Eric; Pierre, Bertrand; Bernard, Anne; Fauchier, Laurent; Pages, Jean-Christophe; Babuty, Dominique
Galectin-3 is a biomarker of fibrosis and atrial remodeling, involved in the mechanisms of initiation and maintenance of atrial fibrillation (AF). We sought to study the accuracy of galectin-3 level in predicting recurrences of AF after ablation. Serum concentrations of galectin-3 were determined in a consecutive series of patients addressed for AF ablation in our center. After a 3-month blanking period, recurrences of atrial arrhythmias were collected during the first year in all patients, using Holter monitoring at 3, 6 months and 12 months. A total of 160 patients were included, with a mean galectin-3 rate was 14.4 ± 5.6 ng/mL. At 12-month, 55 patients (34%) had reexperienced sustained atrial arrhythmia. Only higher galectin-3 level (HR = 1.07 [1.01–1.12], p = 0.02) and larger left atrial diameter (HR = 1.07 [1.03–1.12], p = 0.001) independently predicted recurrence. Patients with both galectin-3 level <15 ng/mL and left atrial diameter <40 millimeters had a 1-year arrhythmia-free survival rate − after a single procedure without anti-arrhythmic drug − of 91%, as compared with 41% in patients with galectin-3 ≥ 15 and left trial diameter ≥40 (p < 0.0001), whether AF was paroxysmal or persistent. Galectin-3 and left atrial diameters, rather than clinical presentation of AF, predict recurrences after ablation. PMID:27677964
Hernández-Romero, Diana; Vílchez, Juan Antonio; Lahoz, Álvaro; Romero-Aniorte, Ana I.; Jover, Eva; García-Alberola, Arcadio; Jara-Rubio, Rubén; Martínez, Carlos M.; Valdés, Mariano; Marín, Francisco
Remodelling in the atria could appear as a result of hypertension, diabetes or ischaemic heart disease. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a mediator of profibrotic pathways and a potential biomarker of cardiac remodelling. We prospectively recruited consecutive patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery. Preoperative Gal-3 levels were determined from serum samples, and the presence of fibrosis was assessed from atrial appendage tissue samples obtained during cardiac surgery. We included 100 patients with aortic valve or ischaemic heart diseases and 15 controls with permanent AF. Gal-3 levels were associated with sex, left atrial volume, previous cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, NYHA and NT-proBNP. We observed differences in serum Gal-3 concentrations between patients and controls with permanent AF (p = 0.020). We performed ROC curves related to fibrosis and established a cutoff point for Gal-3 >13.65 ng/ml. Multivariate analyses showed previous cardiac disease, NYHA scale and high Gal-3 to be independent predictors of fibrosis. After adjustment for confounding factors, atrial fibrosis remained the only independent factor for the development of AF (p = 0.022). High Gal-3 serum levels predict fibrosis of the atrial appendage. NYHA scale and previous cardiac disease were also associated with tissue fibrosis in patients undergoing surgery. Atrial fibrosis was the only independent predictor for post-operative AF occurrence in our model after correcting for confounding factors. PMID:28079145
Kılıcgedik, Alev; Ç Efe, Suleyman; Gürbüz, Ahmet S; Acar, Emrah; Yılmaz, Mehmet F; Erdoğan, Aslan; Kahveci, Gökhan; Izgi, Ibrahim A; Kirma, Cevat
Background: In the early stages of atrial remodeling, aortic stiffness might be an indication of an atrial myopathy, in particular, atrial fibrosis. This study aimed to investigate the association between left atrial (LA) mechanical function, assessed by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography, and aortic stiffness in middle-aged patients with the first episode of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods: This prospective study included 34 consecutive patients with the first episode of AF, who were admitted to Kartal Koşuyolu Research and Training Hospital between May 2013 and October 2015, and 31 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. During the 1st month (mostly in the first 2 weeks) following their first admission, 34 patients underwent the first pulse wave measurements. Then, 21 patients were recalled for their second pulse wave measurement at 11.8 ± 6.0 months following their initial admission. Echocardiographic and pulse wave findings were compared between these 34 patients and 31 healthy controls. We also compared the pulse wave and echocardiographic findings between the first and second measurements in 21 patients. Results: Pulse wave analysis showed no significant differences between the AF patients and healthy controls with respect to PWV (10.2 ± 2.5 m/s vs. 9.7 ± 2.1 m/s; P = 0.370), augmentation pressure (9.6 ± 7.4 mmHg vs. 9.1 ± 5.7 mmHg; P = 0.740), and aortic pulse pressure (AoPP; 40.4 ± 14.0 mmHg vs. 42.1 ± 7.6 mmHg, P = 0.550). The first LA positive peak of strain was inversely related to the augmentation pressure (r = −0.30; P = 0.02) and aortic systolic pressure (r = −0.26, P = 0.04). Comparison between the two consecutive pulse wave measurements in 21 patients showed similar results, except for AoPP. In 21 patients, the AoPP at the second measurement (45.1 ± 14.1 mmHg) showed a significant increase compared with AoPP at the first measurement (39.0 ± 10.6 mmHg, P = 0.028), which was also higher than that of healthy
Yue, L; Feng, J; Gaspo, R; Li, G R; Wang, Z; Nattel, S
Rapid electrical activation, as occurs during atrial fibrillation (AF), is known to cause reductions in atrial refractoriness and in adaptation to heart rate of the atrial refractory period, which promote the maintenance of AF, but the underlying ionic mechanisms are unknown. In order to determine the cellular and ionic changes caused by chronic atrial tachycardia, we studied right atrial myocytes from dogs subjected to 1, 7, or 42 days of atrial pacing at 400/min and compared them with myocytes from sham-operated dogs (pacemaker inserted but not activated). Rapid pacing led to progressive increases in the duration of AF induced by bursts of 10-Hz stimuli (from 3 +/- 2 seconds in sham-operated dogs to 3060 +/- 707 seconds in dogs after 42 days of pacing, P < .001) and reduced atrial refractoriness and adaptation to rate of the atrial refractory period. Voltage-clamp studies showed that chronic rapid pacing did not alter inward rectifier K+ current, rapid or slow components of the delayed rectifier current, the ultrarapid delayed rectifier current, T-type Ca2+ current, or Ca(2+)-dependent Cl- current. In contrast, the densities of transient outward current (Ito) and L-type Ca2+ current (ICa) were progressively reduced as the duration of rapid pacing increased, without concomitant changes in kinetics or voltage dependence. In keeping with in vivo changes in refractoriness, action potential duration (APD) and APD adaptation to rate were decreased by rapid pacing. The response of the action potential and ionic currents flowing during the action potential (as exposed by action-potential voltage clamp) to nifedipine in normal canine cells and in cells from rapidly paced dogs suggested that the APD changes in paced dogs were largely due to reductions in ICa. We conclude that sustained atrial tachycardia reduces Ito and ICa, that the reduced ICa decreases APD and APD adaptation to rate, and that these cellular changes likely account for the alterations in atrial
Zepeda, Ignacio A.; Morcos, Peter; Castellanos, Luis R.
A 73-year-old man with new onset atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response underwent transthoracic echocardiography that revealed an echogenic linear structure along the left atrium, suggestive of cor triatriatum sinister (CTS). CTS was confirmed with transesophageal echocardiography which demonstrated a proximal accessory atrium receiving pulmonary venous flow separated from a distal true atrium by a fibromuscular membrane with a large fenestration allowing flow between the chambers. In CTS, the left atrium is divided into proximal and distal chambers by a fenestrated fibromuscular septum. This cardiac anomaly accounts for 0.1% of cases of congenital heart disease and rarely presents in adults. CTS is primarily diagnosed with echocardiography and is associated with left atrial enlargement and development of atrial fibrillation. Treatment options depend on size of the communication between proximal and distal chambers, the gradient across the membrane, and the position of pulmonary veins. In some instances, surgical resection of the membrane that divides the left atrium is warranted. PMID:25614746
Wolowacz, S E; Samuel, M; Brennan, V K; Jasso-Mosqueda, J-G; Van Gelder, I C
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, its prevalence increasing markedly with age. Atrial fibrillation is strongly associated with increased risk of morbidity, including stroke and thromboembolism. There is growing awareness of the economic burden of AF due to ageing populations and constrained public finances. A systematic review was performed (1990-2009). Cost studies for AF or atrial flutter were included; acute-onset and post-operative AF were excluded. Total, direct, and indirect costs were extracted. Of 875 records retrieved, 37 studies were included. The cost of managing individual AF patients is high. Direct-cost estimates ranged from $2000 to 14,200 per patient-year in the USA and from €450 to 3000 in Europe. This is comparable with other chronic conditions such as diabetes. The direct cost of AF represented 0.9-2.4% of the UK health-care budget in 2000 and had almost doubled over the previous 5 years. Inpatient care accounted for 50-70% of annual direct costs. In the USA, AF hospitalizations alone cost ∼$6.65 billion in 2005. In this first systematic review of the economic burden of AF, hospitalizations consistently represented the major cost driver. Costs and hospitalizations attributable to AF have increased markedly over recent decades and are expected to increase in future due to ageing populations.
Chen, Liang-Kuang; Hsu, Shih-Ming; Mok, Greta S. P.; Law, Wei-Yip; Lu, Kun-Mu; Yang, Ching-Ching; Wu, Tung-Hsin
The aim of this study was to evaluate the image quality of 256-MDCT in atrial fibrillation and to compare the findings with those among patients in sinus rhythm.MaterialsAll reconstructed images were evaluated by two independent experienced readers blinded to patient information, heart rate, and ECG results to assess the diagnostic quality of images of the coronary artery segments using axial images, multi-planar reformations, maximum intensity projections, and volume rendering technique.ResultsNo statistical significance was detected in terms of the overall image quality between patients in sinus rhythm and with atrial fibrillation. Pearson's correlation analysis showed no significant association between image quality and mean heart rate no matter for patients in sinus rhythm or with atrial fibrillation. Similarly, there was no correlation between image quality and heart rate variability for either patients in sinus rhythm or with atrial fibrillation. Our results showed that the optimal reconstruction window depends on patient's HR, and the pattern for patients in atrial fibrillation is similar to that obtained from non-atrial fibrillation patients.ConclusionThis study shows the potential of using 256-MDCT coronary angiography in patients with atrial fibrillation. Our results suggest that when appropriate reconstruction timing window is applied, patients with atrial fibrillation do not have to be excluded from MDCT coronary angiographic examinations.
The management of patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention with stent implantation: in-hospital-data from the Atrial Fibrillation undergoing Coronary Artery Stenting study.
Schlitt, Axel; Rubboli, Andrea; Lip, Gregory Y H; Lahtela, Heli; Valencia, Josè; Karjalainen, Pasi P; Weber, Michael; Laine, Mika; Kirchhof, Paulus; Niemelä, Matti; Vikman, Saila; Buerke, Michael; Airaksinen, K E Juhani
Current recommendations on the management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention with stent (PCI-S) essentially derive from small, single-center, retrospective datasets. To obtain larger and better quality data, we carried out the prospective, multicenter Atrial Fibrillation undergoing Coronary Artery Stenting (AFCAS) study. Therefore, consecutive patients with history of or ongoing AF undergoing PCI-S were enrolled, and occurrence of adverse ischemic and bleeding events recorded during 12 months follow-up. In this article, we report the in-hospital observations. Out of the 963 patients, in the majority of cases (49.1%) AF was permanent. The associated risk of stroke, as defined by a CHADS2 -score ≥2, was in 70% of patients moderate to high. Upon enrollment in the registry, 69.3% of patients were on VKA therapy. Overall occurrence of in-hospital major adverse cardiac events was 4.5% (cardiovascular death 1.9%, urgent revascularization in 1.5%, and stroke/arterial thromboembolism in 0.6%). Bleeding complications occurred in 7.1% of patients, being severe in 2.5%. In a logistic regression analysis, no risk factor was independently associated with bleeding events, whereas Clopidogrel treatment decreased and female gender/treatment with gpIIb/IIIa-antagonists, respectively increased the risk for the combined ischemic endpoint. The majority of AF patients undergoing PCI-S are at high stroke risk, and therefore VKA treatment should not be withdrawn and combined anticoagulant and antiplatelet treatment is warranted. Current management appears largely in accordance with current recommendations, whereby accounting for the limited occurrence of in-hospital adverse ischemic and bleeding events.
Kawasaki, Shiro; Tanno, Kaoru; Ochi, Akinori; Inokuchi, Koichiro; Chiba, Yuta; Onishi, Yoshimi; Onuma, Yoshimasa; Munetsugu, Yumi; Kikuchi, Miwa; Ito, Hiroyuki; Onuki, Tatsuya; Miyoshi, Fumito; Minoura, Yoshino; Watanabe, Norikazu; Adachi, Taro; Asano, Taku; Kobayashi, Youichi
Background Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) via catheter ablation has been shown to be a highly effective treatment option for patients with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). The recurrence of AF within 3 months after PVI is not considered to be the result of ablation procedure failure, because early recurrence of AF is not always associated with late recurrence. We examined the usefulness of an external loop recorder with an auto-trigger function (ELR-AUTO) for the detection of atrial fibrillation following PVI to characterize early recurrence and to determine the implications of AF occurrence within 3 months after PVI. Methods Fifty-three consecutive symptomatic patients with paroxysmal AF (age 61.6±12.6 years, 77% male) who underwent PVI and were fitted with ELR-AUTO for 7±2.0 days within 3 months after PVI were enrolled in this study. Results Of the 33 (62.2%) patients who did not have AF recurrence within 3 months after PVI, only 1 patient experienced AF recurrence at 12 months. Seven (35%) of the 20 patients who experienced AF within 3 months of PVI experienced symptomatic AF recurrence at 12 months. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of early AF recurrence for late recurrence were 87.5%, 71.1%, 35.0%, and 96.9%, respectively. Conclusions AF recurrence measured by ELR-AUTO within 3 months after PVI can predict the late recurrence of AF. Freedom from AF in the first 3 months following ablation significantly predicts long-term AF freedom. ELR-AUTO is useful for the detection of symptomatic and asymptomatic AF. PMID:26336538
Galun, E; Flugelman, M Y; Glickson, M; Eliakim, M
Digitalis is frequently prescribed to patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation to reduce the ventricular rate during subsequent paroxysms. To verify the validity of this assumption, we determined the ventricular rate during paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in 13 patients receiving long-term digoxin therapy (mean plasma digoxin level + 1.28 +/- 0.4 ng/ml) and compared it with that of a group of 14 patients who had not taken digoxin or beta-adrenergic and calcium-blocking agents before the attack. The treated and the untreated groups were similar statistically. The mean ventricular rate of the digitalized patients was 121 +/- 15 beats per minute, while that of the patients in the control group was 118 +/- 16 beats per minute. It is concluded that long-term digoxin therapy is not effective in reducing the ventricular response in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation despite adequate therapeutic levels.
Afdala, Adfal; Nuryani, Nuryani; Satrio Nugroho, Anto
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a disorder of the heart with fairly high mortality in adults. AF is a common heart arrythmia which is characterized by a missing or irregular contraction of atria. Therefore, finding a method to detect atrial fibrillation is necessary. In this article a system to detect atrial fibrillation has been proposed. Detection system utilized backpropagation artifical neural network. Data input in this method includes power spectrum density of R-peaks interval of electrocardiogram which is selected by wrapping method. This research uses parameter learning rate, momentum, epoch and hidden layer. System produces good performance with accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of 83.55%, 86.72 % and 81.47 %, respectively.
Lévy, S; Richard, P
The experience gained using intracardiac cardioverter defibrillators for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias has prompted the development of an automatic atrial defibrillator capable of detecting and automatically terminating atrial fibrillation (AF). Experimental studies in sheep have shown that it is possible to terminate AF with energies ranging from < 1 to 7 joules [J], using biphasic shocks. The best electrode configuration using intracardiac catheters and/or a subcutaneous patch was two catheters, one in the right atrium and the other in the coronary sinus. Current studies in man focus on the answers to three questions. First, can the experimental results of atrial defibrillation derived from healthy anesthetized sheep without spontaneous AF be extrapolated to AF in man with areas of fibrosis within the atria and/or underlying heart disease in 80% of cases? Preliminary studies in man suggest that cardioversion of AF of short duration is feasible using a mean energy of 2 J. Second, are these energies well tolerated in an awake nonsedated patient? Energies < 1 J were well tolerated, but pain resulting from higher energies needs further investigation. Third, is low-energy atrial defibrillation safe, i.e., is there a risk of ventricular arrhythmias induced by an atrial shock? Experimental results in sheep have shown that the risk of R wave synchronized shock to induce ventricular arrhythmias was only present when the preceding RR interval was shorter than 300 msec. The risk of proarrhythmia in man is undergoing evaluation and must be sufficiently low (< 0.1) before sanctioning implantation of a stand-alone (without associated ventricular defibrillator) automatic atrial defibrillator. Preliminary data on 1212 shocks showed no proarrhythmia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Zhou, Zhi-Wen; Zheng, Hong-Chao; Zhao, Li-Fang; Li, Wei; Hou, Jian-Wen; Yu, Yi; Miao, Pi-Zhi; Zhu, Jian-Ming
The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of Berberine (Ber) on atrial fibrillation (AF) induced by acetylcholine (ACh) and explore its underlying mechanisms of action. In vivo electrophysiology experiments were performed in adult anesthetized rabbits. Single atrial myocytes were isolated from rabbit hearts and action potentials recorded using patch clamp techniques. AF was induced by rapid atrial burst pacing during intravenous (IV) ACh infusion alone or with IV Ber. Compared to the Baseline, IV Ber (2 mg/kg) prolonged the RR interval and effective refractory period (195 ± 10 vs. 215 ± 11 msec; 80 ± 4 vs. 85 ± 5 msec, respectively; both P<0.05). The induced rate of sustained 1 min AF was lower during ACh infusion with Ber than during ACh infusion alone (4/10 vs. 30/35, P<0.01). The termination rate of ACh-induced AF was higher with IV Ber (1 mg/kg) than with IV saline (sustained 1 min AF: 6/8 vs. 6/20, sustained 10 min AF: 8/10 vs. 1/6, both P<0.05). ACh perfusion significantly shortened the action potential duration (APD) of isolated atrial myocytes (APD50: 152 ± 13 vs. 81 ± 10 msec; APD90: 256 ± 19 vs. 132 ± 13 msec, both P<0.01). Application of Ber reversed the APD shortening induced by ACh (APD50: 81 ± 10 vs. 134 ± 15 msec; APD90: 132 ± 13 vs: 213 ± 17 msec, both P<0.01). We conclude that Ber suppresses ACh-induced AF in the rabbit by increasing atrial effective refractory period and prolonging the APD of atrial myocytes. PMID:26396675
Zhang, Daoliang; Chen, Xiaoqing; Wang, Qian; Wu, Shaohui; Zheng, Yue; Liu, Xu
Objectives To explore the relationship between the MAPKs/TGF-β1/TRAF6 signaling pathway and atrial fibrosis in patients with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and its role in atrial fibrillation (AF) after cardiac surgery on the basis of our previous animal study of the MAPKs/TGF-β1/TRAF6 signaling pathway in atrial fibrosis. Methods A total of 57 patients with RHD without a history of AF consented to left atrial biopsy. Histopathology quantified the percentage of fibrosis, and real-time PCR and western blot assessed the mRNA and protein expression of TGF-β1, TRAF6, and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), respectively. Western blot was also used to measure the protein expression of phosphorylated MAPKs and TGF-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1). Serum angiotensin II (Ang II) levels were assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results Eighteen patients developed AF, whereas 39 remained in sinus rhythm (SR). The severity of atrial fibrosis was significantly higher in patients who developed AF versus those who remained in SR; the mRNA and protein expression of TGF-β1, TRAF6 and CTGF were significantly higher in patients with AF. The protein expression of phosphorylated MAPKs and TAK1 was significantly increased in patients who developed AF compared with the patients who remained in SR. Serum Ang II levels were significantly higher in patients who developed AF versus those who remained in SR. Conclusion The MAPKs/TGF-β1/TRAF6 signaling pathway is involved in atrial fibrosis in patients with RHD, which results in the occurrence of AF after cardiac surgery. PMID:28323847
Bartos, Daniel C.; Anderson, Jeffrey B.; Bastiaenen, Rachel; Johnson, Jonathan N.; Gollob, Michael H; Tester, David J.; Burgess, Don E.; Homfray, Tessa; Behr, Elijah R.; Ackerman, Michael J.; Guicheney, Pascale; Delisle, Brian P.
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, and its incidence is expected to grow. A genetic predisposition for AF has long been recognized, but its manifestation in these patients likely involves a combination of rare and common genetic variants. Identifying genetic variants that associate with a high penetrance for AF would represent a significant breakthrough for understanding the mechanisms that associate with disease. Method and Results Candidate gene sequencing in five unrelated families with familial AF identified the KCNQ1 missense mutation p.Arg231His (R231H). In addition to AF, several of the family members have abnormal QTc intervals, syncope, or experienced sudden cardiac arrest or death. KCNQ1 encodes the voltage-gated K+ channel that conducts the slowly activating delayed rectifier K+ current in the heart. Functional and computational analyses suggested that R231H increases KCNQ1 current (IKCNQ1) to shorten the atrial action potential (AP) duration. R231H is predicted to minimally affect ventricular excitability, but it prevented the increase in IKCNQ1 following PKA activation. The unique properties of R231H appeared to be caused by a loss in voltage-dependent gating. Conclusions The R231H variant causes a high penetrance for interfamilial early-onset AF. Our study indicates R231H likely shortens atrial refractoriness to promote a substrate for reentry. Additionally, R231H might cause abnormal ventricular repolarization by disrupting PKA activation of IKCNQ1. We conclude genetic variants, which increase IKs during the atrial AP, decrease the atrial AP duration, and/or shorten atrial refractoriness, present a high risk for interfamilial AF. PMID:23350853
Rosenberg, Michael A.; Das, Saumya; Pinzon, Pablo Quintero; Knight, Ashley C.; Sosnovik, David E.; Ellinor, Patrick T.; Rosenzweig, Anthony
Cardiac hypertrophy is a major risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, there are few animal models of AF associated with cardiac hypertrophy. In this study, we describe the in vivo electrophysiological characteristics and histopathology of a mouse model of cardiac hypertrophy that develops AF. Myostatin is a well-known negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth that was recently found to additionally regulate cardiac muscle growth. Using cardiac-specific expression of the inhibitory myostatin pro-peptide, we generated transgenic (TG) mice with dominant-negative regulation of MSTN (DN-MSTN). One line (DN-MSTN TG13) displayed ventricular hypertrophy, as well as spontaneous AF on the surface electrocardiogram (ECG), and was further evaluated. DN-MSTN TG13 had normal systolic function, but displayed atrial enlargement on cardiac MRI, as well as atrial fibrosis histologically. Baseline ECG revealed an increased P wave duration and QRS interval compared with wild-type littermate (WT) mice. Seven of 19 DN-MSTN TG13 mice had spontaneous or inducible AF, while none of the WT mice had atrial arrhythmias (p<0.05). Connexin40 (Cx40) was decreased in DN-MSTN TG13 mice, even in the absence of AF or significant atrial fibrosis, raising the possibility that MSTN signaling may play a role in Cx40 down-regulation and the development of AF in this mouse model. In conclusion, DN-MSTN TG13 mice represent a novel model of AF, in which molecular changes including an initial loss of Cx40 are noted prior to fibrosis and the development of atrial arrhythmias. PMID:23243484
Liu, Yu; Scherlag, Benjamin J; Fan, Youqi; Xia, Wenfang; Huang, He; Po, Sunny S
Atropine (ATr) is well known as a cholinergic antagonist, however, at low concentrations ATr could paradoxically accentuate the parasympathetic actions of acetylcholine (ACh). In 22 pentobarbital anesthetized dogs, via a left and right thoracotomy, a leak proof barrier was attached to isolate the atrial appendages (AAs) from the rest of the atria. In Group 1(Ach+ATr+Ach), ACh, 100 mM, was placed on the AA followed by the application of ATr, 2mg/cc. The average AFdur was 17±7 minutes. After ATr was applied to the AA and ACh again tested, the AFdur was markedly attenuated (2±2 minutes, p<0.05). In Group 2 (ATr+Ach), ATr was initially applied to the AA followed by the application of ACh, 100 mM. There was no significant difference in AF duration (16±4 minutes vs 18±2 minutes, p=NS). The inhibitory effect of ATr on induced HR reduction (electrical stimulation of the anterior right ganglionated plexi and vagal nerves) was no difference between Groups 1 and 2. These observations suggest that when ATr is initially administered it attaches to the allosteric site of the muscarinic ACh receptor (M2 AChRs) leaving the orthosteric site free to be occupied by ACh. The M3 receptor that controls HR slowing does not show the same allosteric properties.
Mendes, Fernanda de Souza Nogueira Sardinha; Atié, Jacob; Garcia, Marcelo Iorio; Gripp, Eliza de Almeida; de Sousa, Andréa Silvestre; Feijó, Luiz Augusto; Xavier, Sergio Salles
Background Studies on atrial fibrillation (AF) in decompensated heart failure (DHF) are scarce in Brazil. Objectives To determine AF prevalence, its types and associated factors in patients hospitalized due to DHF; to assess their thromboembolic risk profile and anticoagulation rate; and to assess the impact of AF on in-hospital mortality and hospital length of stay. Methods Retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study of incident cases including 659 consecutive hospitalizations due to DHF, from 01/01/2006 to 12/31/2011. The thromboembolic risk was assessed by using CHADSVASc score. On univariate analysis, the chi-square, Student t and Mann Whitney tests were used. On multivariate analysis, logistic regression was used. Results The prevalence of AF was 40%, and the permanent type predominated (73.5%). On multivariate model, AF associated with advanced age (p < 0.0001), non-ischemic etiology (p = 0.02), right ventricular dysfunction (p = 0.03), lower systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p = 0.02), higher ejection fraction (EF) (p < 0.0001) and enlarged left atrium (LA) (p < 0.0001). The median CHADSVASc score was 4, and 90% of the cases had it ≥ 2. The anticoagulation rate was 52.8% on admission and 66.8% on discharge, being lower for higher scores. The group with AF had higher in-hospital mortality (11.0% versus 8.1%, p = 0.21) and longer hospital length of stay (20.5 ± 16 versus 16.3 ± 12, p = 0.001). Conclusions Atrial fibrillation is frequent in DHF, the most prevalent type being permanent AF. Atrial fibrillation is associated with more advanced age, non-ischemic etiology, right ventricular dysfunction, lower SBP, higher EF and enlarged LA. Despite the high thromboembolic risk profile, anticoagulation is underutilized. The presence of AF is associated with longer hospital length of stay and high mortality. PMID:25352505
Hellfritzsch, Maja; Husted, Steen Elkjaer; Grove, Erik Lerkevang; Rasmussen, Lotte; Poulsen, Birgitte Klindt; Johnsen, Søren Paaske; Hallas, Jesper; Pottegård, Anton
Patients with atrial fibrillation discontinuing anticoagulant therapy are left unprotected against ischaemic stroke. Further, switching between oral anticoagulants may be associated with a transiently increased risk of bleeding or thromboembolism. However, there is a paucity of real-life data on pattern of switching and discontinuation of oral anticoagulants. To address this, we conducted a nationwide drug utilization study including all registered Danish atrial fibrillation patients initiating a non-VKA oral anticoagulant (NOAC) between August 2011 and February 2016. We assessed changes in anticoagulant treatment, including switching between oral anticoagulants and discontinuation of NOACs, and explored patient characteristics predicting these changes. We identified 50,632 patients with atrial fibrillation initiating NOAC therapy within the study period. The majority initiated dabigatran (49.9%) and one-third had previously used VKA. Within 1 year, 10.1% switched to VKA, 4.8% switched to another NOAC and 14.4% discontinued treatment. The frequencies of switching to VKA and discontinuation were highest among NOAC users of young age (<55 years) and with low CHA2 DS2 -VASc score (=0). However, the majority of patients (87.3%) stopping NOAC treatment had a CHA2 DS2 -VASc score ≥1. We conclude that switching from VKA to NOAC, and to a lesser extent from NOAC to VKA, is common, as is early treatment discontinuation. The majority of treatment changes are observed in patients at increased risk of stroke. More research is warranted on the risks of bleeding and thromboembolism associated with switching and discontinuation of NOACs as well as the underlying reasons why these treatment changes occur.
Zeng, Xin; Li, Qiao; Zhang, Miao; Wang, Wei; Tan, Xuerui
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice. Systemic inflammatory state, oxidative stress injury, and atrial fibrosis are identified as the main mechanisms for AF. Considering the multifactorial mechanisms of AF, a novel therapeutic agent with multi-bioactivities should be presented. Regular consumption of green tea has been associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and against a large number of pathologic conditions. Recent results indicate that green tea extract, especially (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, could effectively decrease inflammatory factors secretion, antagonize oxidation, and inhibit matrix metalloproteinase activities. Inhibition of inflammation, modulation of oxidative stress, and targeting tissue fibrosis represent new approaches in tackling AF; therefore, green tea may be an innovative therapeutic candidate to prevent the occurrence, maintenance, and recurrence of AF.
Tsai, Ming-Rung; Chiu, Yu-Wei; Lo, Men Tzung; Sun, Chi-Kuang
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common irregular heart rhythm and the mortality rate for patients with AF is approximately twice the mortality rate for patients with normal sinus rhythm (NSR). Some research has indicated that myocardial fibrosis plays an important role in predisposing patients to AF. Therefore, realizing the relationship between myocardial collagen fibrosis and AF is significant. Second-harmonic generation (SHG) is an optically nonlinear coherent process to image the collagen network. We perform SHG microscopic imaging of the collagen fibers in the human atrial myocardium. Utilizing the SHG images, we can identify the differences in morphology and the arrangement of collagen fibers between NSR and AF tissues. We also quantify the arrangement of the collagen fibers using Fourier transform images and calculating the values of angle entropy. We indicate that SHG imaging, a nondestructive and reproducible method to analyze the arrangement of collagen fibers, can provide explicit information about the relationship between myocardial fibrosis and AF.
A real case reported to the SENSAR database of incidents is presented. In a patient scheduled for nose fracture repair surgery an unexpected atrial fibrillation was found when monitored in the operating room. The operation was not delayed. After induction of general anaesthesia heart rate suddenly increased and hemodinamic situation was impaired. Cardioversion was required. Two electric countershocks were given but sinus rhythm was not restored. Heart rate was controlled with amiodarone infusion. Optimal defibrillation characteristics are described in these cases. Increased risk of thromboembolism (1-2%) following cardioversion is present even if atrial thrombi are ruled out. The mainstay therapies of are rhythm and rate control and prevention of thromboembolic complications. We describe recommendations on the management of these critical situations with emphasis in learning through the creation of protocols and training practice in simulation.
East, Cara; Phan, Teresa; Filardo, Giovanni; Franklin, Jay; Donsky, Alan; Wheelan, Kevin R
Cryoablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) has rapidly become a mainstream treatment for AF. In this report, 163 patients who had undergone a cryoablation procedure at one clinical center were contacted by telephone 33.1 ± 3.3 months after the procedure. All patients had received cryoablation of the pulmonary vein ostia, although concomitant procedures were performed at the same time in over 50% of the patients, including radiofrequency and/or cryoablation of other areas of the left atrium. Freedom from a repeat ablation procedure was 87%, while freedom from recurrent hospitalization for AF was 89%, as compared to previous reports of 65%. Of the 13 patients who had a repeat ablation procedure, only one was found to have a reconnection of pulmonary veins, while 4 were found to have atrial flutter. Cryoablation for AF produces a durable result in most patients out to 3 years with better outcomes than previously reported. PMID:28127119
Cerasuolo, Joshua O.; Cipriano, Lauren E.; Sposato, Luciano A.
Purpose of review Atrial fibrillation is being increasingly diagnosed after ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Patient characteristics, frequency and duration of paroxysms, and the risk of recurrent ischemic stroke associated with atrial fibrillation detected after stroke and TIA (AFDAS) may differ from atrial fibrillation already known before stroke occurrence. We aim to summarize major recent advances in the field, in the context of prior evidence, and to identify areas of uncertainty to be addressed in future research. Recent findings Half of all atrial fibrillations in ischemic stroke and TIA patients are AFDAS, and most of them are asymptomatic. Over 50% of AFDAS paroxysms last less than 30 s. The rapid initiation of cardiac monitoring and its duration are crucial for its timely and effective detection. AFDAS comprises a heterogeneous mix of atrial fibrillation, possibly including cardiogenic and neurogenic types, and a mix of both. Over 25 single markers and at least 10 scores have been proposed as predictors of AFDAS. However, there are considerable inconsistencies across studies. The role of AFDAS burden and its associated risk of stroke recurrence have not yet been investigated. Summary AFDAS may differ from atrial fibrillation known before stroke in several clinical dimensions, which are important for optimal patient care strategies. Many questions remain unanswered. Neurogenic and cardiogenic AFDAS need to be characterized, as it may be possible to avoid some neurogenic cases by initiating timely preventive treatments. AFDAS burden may differ in ischemic stroke and TIA patients, with distinctive diagnostic and treatment implications. The prognosis of AFDAS and its risk of recurrent stroke are still unknown; therefore, it is uncertain whether AFDAS patients should be treated with oral anticoagulants. PMID:27984303
Tomlin, Andrew M; Lloyd, Hywel S; Tilyard, Murray W
Background Atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease but there is limited information on its prevalence in New Zealand primary care or the treatment provided to manage thromboembolic risk. Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of atrial fibrillation, assess patient risk for thromboembolism and evaluate the appropriateness of risk reduction using antiplatelet and oral anticoagulation therapy. Design A retrospective cohort study utilising electronic medical records for 739,000 patients registered with 170 general practices in 2014. Methods Patient diagnoses and prescriptions from 2010-2014 were analysed to identify patients with atrial fibrillation in 2014 and co-morbidities included in the CHA2DS2-VASc algorithm. Adjusted prevalence of atrial fibrillation by patient demographic group and the proportion of patients following recommended antithrombotic therapy were calculated. Results 12,712 patients were identified with AF (1.72%, 95% confidence interval 1.69%-1.75%). Prevalence was significantly higher for Maori (odds ratio 1.91, 95% confidence interval 1.80-2.03) than Europeans after adjusting for age, sex, deprivation and clinical risk factors. Stroke risk for Maori and Pacific Island patients was higher than for Europeans across all age groups. Of the 10,406 patients (81.9%) at high risk for thromboembolism, 60.5% were using anticoagulants, 24.1% aspirin monotherapy and 15.4% neither anticoagulants nor aspirin. Oral anticoagulants were used by 31.5% of patients at low risk (CHA2DS2-VASc <2). Conclusions Oral anticoagulants are under-utilised in the management of thromboembolic risk in high risk patients with atrial fibrillation. Better promotion of guideline recommendations for the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation may be required to improve clinician and patient decision-making.
Christou, Georgios A.; Christou, Konstantinos A.; Korantzopoulos, Panagiotis; Rizos, Evangelos C.; Nikas, Dimitrios N.; Goudevenos, John A.
Background: The main dietary source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) is fish, which contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In the present manuscript, we aimed to review the current evidence regarding the clinical role of n-3 PUFA in the prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF) and the possible underlying mechanisms. Methods: A literature search based on PubMed listings was performed using “Omega-3 fatty acids” and “atrial fibrilation” as key search terms. Results: n-3 PUFA have been shown to attenuate structural atrial remodeling, prolong atrial effective refractory period through the prevention of reentry and suppress ectopic firing from pulmonary veins. Dietary fish intake has been found to have no effect on the incidence of AF in the majority of studies. Circulating DHA has been consistently reported to be inversely associated with AF risk, whereas EPA has no such effect. The majority of studies investigating the impact of n-3 PUFA supplementation on the incidence of AF following cardiac surgery reported no benefit, though most of them did not use n-3 PUFA pretreatment for adequate duration. Studies using adequate four-week pretreatment with n-3 PUFA before cardioversion of AF showed a reduction of the AF incidence. Conclusions: Although n-3 PUFA have antiarrhythmogenic properties, their clinical efficacy on the prevention of AF is not consistently supported. Further well-designed studies are needed to overcome the limitations of the existing studies and provide robust conclusions. PMID:26402674
McDowell, Kathleen S.; Vadakkumpadan, Fijoy; Blake, Robert; Blauer, Joshua; Plank, Gernot; MacLeod, Rob S.; Trayanova, Natalia A.
Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia in humans, is initiated when triggered activity from the pulmonary veins propagates into atrial tissue and degrades into reentrant activity. Although experimental and clinical findings show a correlation between atrial fibrosis and AF, the causal relationship between the two remains elusive. This study used an array of 3D computational models with different representations of fibrosis based on a patient-specific atrial geometry with accurate fibrotic distribution to determine the mechanisms by which fibrosis underlies the degradation of a pulmonary vein ectopic beat into AF. Fibrotic lesions in models were represented with combinations of: gap junction remodeling; collagen deposition; and myofibroblast proliferation with electrotonic or paracrine effects on neighboring myocytes. The study found that the occurrence of gap junction remodeling and the subsequent conduction slowing in the fibrotic lesions was a necessary but not sufficient condition for AF development, whereas myofibroblast proliferation and the subsequent electrophysiological effect on neighboring myocytes within the fibrotic lesions was the sufficient condition necessary for reentry formation. Collagen did not alter the arrhythmogenic outcome resulting from the other fibrosis components. Reentrant circuits formed throughout the noncontiguous fibrotic lesions, without anchoring to a specific fibrotic lesion. PMID:23790385
Salerno, D M; Katz, A; Dunbar, D N; Fjeldos-Sperbeck, K
We have observed hypokalemia after cardioversion from spontaneous out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation and induced ventricular tachycardia. To test the hypothesis that the hormone response to the hemodynamic stress of the arrhythmia initiated the change in potassium, we compared the electrolytes and hormones in three groups of patients. We observed a decrease in serum potassium and magnesium after cardioversion from ventricular tachycardia induced by programmed stimulation, but not after normal programmed stimulation of the ventricle or after cardioversion from stable atrial fibrillation. These changes were preceded first by a rise in norepinephrine and epinephrine, then a rise in glucose, followed by a rise in insulin. The stimulus for these changes was probably the hypotension associated with ventricular tachycardia. The sequence of changes suggests that the decrease of potassium and magnesium after ventricular tachycardia was due to a shift of the electrolytes into cells, related to the insulin-mediated movement of glucose from the blood into cells.
De Potter, Tom; Cresti, Alberto; Severi, Silva; Breithardt, Günter
Atrial fibrillation (AF) remains the most frequent sustained cardiac arrhythmia worldwide and its incidence increases with ageing, cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities. Prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is growing fast and is assuming pandemic proportions mostly due to overnutrition and sedentary habits. Experimental and clinical evidences suggest that DM and AF are strongly interconnected. The present review addresses in detail new molecular pathways implicated in the etiology of AF and their relevance for mechanism-based therapeutic strategies in this setting. Advances in risk stratification, drug therapy (i.e., novel anticoagulants) and catheter ablation are also described. PMID:26543823
Thompson, Philip A; Lévy, Vincent; Tam, Constantine S; Al Nawakil, Chadi; Goudot, François-Xavier; Quinquenel, Anne; Ysebaert, Loic; Michallet, Anne-Sophie; Dilhuydy, Marie-Sarah; Van Den Neste, Eric; Dupuis, Jehan; Keating, Michael J; Meune, Christophe; Cymbalista, Florence
Atrial fibrillation (AF) occurs in 5-9% of patients treated with ibrutinib for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL); the clinical consequences and optimal management are unclear. We retrospectively studied 56 CLL patients who received ibrutinib and developed AF. Median time to onset was 3·8 months. AF was persistent in 35/56 (62%) cases despite treatment. Clinical consequences included: three episodes of severe cardiac failure (one fatal) and one stroke; eight non-thrombocytopenic patients (14%) experienced severe bleeding adverse events. Altogether, ibrutinib was permanently discontinued in 26/56 cases (46%). Data to guide optimal management are lacking and clinical practice guidelines are urgently needed.
Bessissow, A; Khan, J; Devereaux, P J; Alvarez-Garcia, J; Alonso-Coello, P
Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is the most common perioperative cardiac arrhythmia. A major risk factor for POAF is advanced age, both in non-cardiac and cardiac surgery. Following non-cardiac surgery, it is important to correct reversible conditions such as electrolytes imbalances to prevent the occurrence of POAF. Management of POAF consists of rate control and therapeutic anticoagulation if POAF persists for > 48 h and CHADS2 score > 2. After cardiac surgery, POAF affects a larger amount of patients. In addition to age, valve surgery carries the greatest risk for new AF. Rate control is the mainstay therapy in these patients. Prediction, prevention, and management of POAF should be further studied.
Martin, Andrew; Stewart, Ralph
Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia that increases the risk of stroke and systemic embolism. Warfarin is a highly effective treatment in reducing this risk, but a narrow therapeutic range, drug and food interactions, required monitoring, and bleeding limit its use. We review Apixaban, an oral inhibitor of Factor Xa, which has been shown in large randomized trials to have superior efficacy in stroke reduction without an excess in bleeding events when compared with aspirin in those deemed unsuitable to receive warfarin, and demonstrates superior efficacy in reducing stroke and systemic embolism in addition to a reduction in bleeding events when compared to warfarin. PMID:22844196
Madan, Shivanshu; Shah, Shenil; Partovi, Sasan
The increasing availability of novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) offers alternatives for patients currently prescribed warfarin. This article provides a brief overview on the mechanism and clinical use of these drugs as well as a review of the pivotal clinical trials providing the basis for each agent’s safety and efficacy. While these agents are currently Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for anticoagulation of patients with nonvalvular AF, additional studies continually emerge offering further insight into the application of these agents in other areas. PMID:25276617
Stöllberger, Claudia; Finsterer, Josef
Dabigatran is an oral thrombin inhibitor which has been approved in several countries as an alternative to vitamin-K-antagonists for the prevention of stroke or embolism in atrial fibrillation patients. Dabigatran is introduced into clinical practice, although many issues regarding this drug are still unclear, like laboratory monitoring, use in elderly patients, drug- and food-interactions and use in patients with renal insufficiency. Additionally, there is no antidote for dabigatran. Thus, aim of the present review is to give an overview of concerns and unresolved issues concerning dabigatran. PMID:24288086
Pedrote, Alonso; Acosta, Juan; Jáuregui-Garrido, Beatriz; Frutos-López, Manuel; Arana-Rueda, Eduardo
Pulmonary vein isolation by point-by-point radiofrequency catheter ablation constitutes the cornerstone of catheter ablation strategies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. However, despite advances in pulmonary vein isolation ablation strategies, long-term success rates after ablation remain suboptimal, which highlights the need to develop techniques to achieve more durable lesions. Strategies proposed to improve the durability of pulmonary vein isolation can be divided into two groups: Those addressed to improving the quality of the lesion and those that optimize the detection of acute PV reconnection during the ablation procedure. This manuscript reviews the role and potential benefits of these techniques according to current clinical evidence.
Qaddoura, Amro; Baranchuk, Adrian
In this chapter, we start by discussing coronary artery bypass grafting and the most common complication after surgery post coronary artery bypass grafting atrial fibrillation (PCAF). We then discuss the major risk factors for PCAF, and subsequently conduct an in-depth discussion of obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor. In this endeavor, we outline how obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed, its pathophysiological relationship to PCAF, and recent clinical studies investigating the association between obstructive sleep apnea and PCAF. We conclude with prevention and treatment strategies for PCAF, and a discussion of future research recommendations.
Native renal infarction is uncommon in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF)-related thromboembolism. Graft infarction is also rare, with such cases mostly occurring in the main graft artery postoperatively. To date, there have been no studies of AF-related graft kidney infarction. We herein describe the first case of AF-related graft kidney infarction. The clinical manifestations of this condition mimic and follow those of acute pyelonephritis; therefore, these diseases should be differentially diagnosed as early as possible using lactic dehydrogenase testing and computed tomography. Aggressive treatment with intravascular thrombolysis should be administered, even when the diagnosis is delayed, in order to restore a viable renal function.
Woods, Erin A; Ackman, Margaret L; Graham, Michelle M; Koshman, Sheri L; Boswell, Rosaleen M; Barry, Arden R
Background: Current guidelines recommend triple antithrombotic therapy (TAT), defined as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), clopidogrel, and warfarin, for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention with stent implantation. The choice of anticoagulant/antiplatelet therapy in this population is ambiguous and complex, and prescribing patterns are not well documented. Objective: To characterize local prescribing patterns for anticoagulant/antiplatelet therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Methods: A chart review was conducted at a single quaternary cardiology centre. Patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation were identified via medical records, and those who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention were identified using a local clinical patient registry. Adult inpatients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and a CHADS2 score (based on congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, diabetes mellitus, prior stroke) of 1 or higher who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention from 2011 to 2013 were included. Patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery or transcatheter aortic valve replacement, those with mechanical devices requiring anticoagulation, and those with an allergy to any component of TAT were excluded. Results: Seventy patients were included. The median age was 75 years, and 52 (74%) were men. At discharge, 30 (43%) were receiving TAT and 27 (39%) were receiving dual antiplatelet therapy (clopidogrel and ASA). No patients received the combination of warfarin and clopidogrel. Among those who received TAT, 90% (19 of 21) who received a bare metal stent had a recommended duration of 1 month, and 75% (6 of 8) who received a drug-eluting stent had a recommended duration of 1 year. Direct-acting oral anticoagulants with 2 antiplatelet drugs were prescribed for 9% (6 of 70) of the patients, and 10% (7 of 70) received ticagrelor and ASA
O'Brien, Emily C.; Simon, DaJuanicia N.; Thomas, Laine E.; Hylek, Elaine M.; Gersh, Bernard J.; Ansell, Jack E.; Kowey, Peter R.; Mahaffey, Kenneth W.; Chang, Paul; Fonarow, Gregg C.; Pencina, Michael J.; Piccini, Jonathan P.; Peterson, Eric D.
Background Therapeutic decisions in atrial fibrillation (AF) are often influenced by assessment of bleeding risk. However, existing bleeding risk scores have limitations. Objectives We sought to develop and validate a novel bleeding risk score using routinely available clinical information to predict major bleeding in a large, community-based AF population. Methods We analysed data from Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (ORBIT-AF), a prospective registry that enrolled incident and prevalent AF patients at 176 US sites. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we identified factors independently associated with major bleeding among patients taking oral anticoagulation (OAC) over a median follow-up of 2 years (interquartile range = 1.6–2.5). We also created a numerical bedside risk score that included the five most predictive risk factors weighted according to their strength of association with major bleeding. The predictive performance of the full model, the simple five-item score, and two existing risk scores (hypertension, abnormal renal/liver function, stroke, bleeding history or predisposition, labile INR, elderly, drugs/alcohol concomitantly, HAS-BLED, and anticoagulation and risk factors in atrial fibrillation, ATRIA) were then assessed in both the ORBIT-AF cohort and a separate clinical trial population, Rivaroxaban Once-daily oral direct factor Xa inhibition compared with vitamin K antagonism for prevention of stroke and embolism trial in atrial fibrillation (ROCKET-AF). Results Among 7411 ORBIT-AF patients taking OAC, the rate of major bleeding was 4.0/100 person-years. The full continuous model (12 variables) and five-factor ORBIT risk score (older age [75+ years], reduced haemoglobin/haematocrit/history of anaemia, bleeding history, insufficient kidney function, and treatment with antiplatelet) both had good ability to identify those who bled vs. not (C-index 0.69 and 0.67, respectively). These scores both had
Diaz, J; Gonzalez, C; Escalona, O; Glover, B M; Manoharan, G
The goal of this study was to investigate the usefulness of nonlinear analysis in determining the success of low energy internal cardioversion (IC) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Nonlinear analysis has previously been used for characterizing AF patterns, and spontaneous termination in its paroxysmal form. However, the relationship between the probability to restore sinus rhythm by IC and quantitative nonlinear analysis based electrocardiographic (ECG) markers has not been explored before. Thirty nine patients with AF, for elective DC cardioversion at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, were included in this study. One catheter was positioned in the right atrial appendage and another in the coronary sinus, to deliver a biphasic shock waveform. A voltage step-up protocol (50-300 V) was used for patient cardioversion. Residual atrial fibrillatory signal (RAFS) was derived from 60 seconds of surface ECG from defibrillator pads, prior to shock delivery, by bandpass filtering and ventricular activity (QRST) cancellation. QRST complexes were cancelled using a recursive least squared (RLS) adaptive filter. The maximal Lyapunov exponent (lambda), correlation dimension (course grained estimation, CDcg) and approximate entropy (ApEn) were extracted from the RAFS. These variables were calculated from 10 s of the RAFS before shock delivery. 26 patients were successfully cardioverted, employing a maximum energy of 11.84 joules. A lower lambda (0.037+/-0.006 vs. 0.044+/-0.008, P=0.01) and CDcg (5.552+/-2.075 vs. 6.592+/-1.130, P=0.049) were found in successfully cardioverted patients than in those non successful ones, with an energy
Adeniran, Ismail; MacIver, David H.; Garratt, Clifford J.; Ye, Jianqiao; Hancox, Jules C.; Zhang, Henggui
Aims Atrial stunning, a loss of atrial mechanical contraction, can occur following a successful cardioversion. It is hypothesized that persistent atrial fibrillation-induced electrical remodeling (AFER) on atrial electrophysiology may be responsible for such impaired atrial mechanics. This simulation study aimed to investigate the effects of AFER on atrial electro-mechanics. Methods and Results A 3D electromechanical model of the human atria was developed to investigate the effects of AFER on atrial electro-mechanics. Simulations were carried out in 3 conditions for 4 states: (i) the control condition, representing the normal tissue (state 1) and the tissue 2–3 months after cardioversion (state 2) when the atrial tissue recovers its electrophysiological properties after completion of reverse electrophysiological remodelling; (ii) AFER-SR condition for AF-remodeled tissue with normal sinus rhythm (SR) (state 3); and (iii) AFER-AF condition for AF-remodeled tissue with re-entrant excitation waves (state 4). Our results indicate that at the cellular level, AFER (states 3 & 4) abbreviated action potentials and reduced the Ca2+ content in the sarcoplasmic reticulum, resulting in a reduced amplitude of the intracellular Ca2+ transient leading to decreased cell active force and cell shortening as compared to the control condition (states 1 & 2). Consequently at the whole organ level, atrial contraction in AFER-SR condition (state 3) was dramatically reduced. In the AFER-AF condition (state 4) atrial contraction was almost abolished. Conclusions This study provides novel insights into understanding atrial electro-mechanics illustrating that AFER impairs atrial contraction due to reduced intracellular Ca2+ transients. PMID:26606047
Kolek, Matthew J.; Graves, Amy J.; Xu, Meng; Bian, Aihua; Teixeira, Pedro Luis; Shoemaker, M. Benjamin; Parvez, Babar; Xu, Hua; Heckbert, Susan R.; Ellinor, Patrick T.; Benjamin, Emelia J.; Alonso, Alvaro; Denny, Joshua C.; Moons, Karel G.M.; Shintani, Ayumi K.; Harrell, Frank E.; Roden, Dan M.; Darbar, Dawood
Importance Atrial fibrillation contributes to substantial morbidity, mortality, and healthcare expenditures. Accurate prediction of incident atrial fibrillation would enhance patient management and potentially improve outcomes. Objective We aimed to validate the atrial fibrillation risk prediction model originally developed by the CHARGE-AF investigators utilizing a large repository of electronic medical records. Design Using a database of de-identified medical records, we conducted a retrospective electronic medical record study of subjects without atrial fibrillation followed in Internal Medicine outpatient clinics at our institution. Individuals were followed for incident atrial fibrillation from 2005 until 2010. Adjusting for differences in baseline hazard, we applied the CHARGE-AF Cox proportional hazards model regression coefficients to our cohort. A simple version of the model, with no ECG variables was also evaluated. Setting Outpatient clinics at a large academic medical center. Participants 33,494 subjects of age ≥40 years, white or African American, and no previous history of atrial fibrillation. Predictors Predictors in the model included age, race, height, weight, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, treatment for hypertension, smoking status, diabetes, heart failure, history of myocardial infarction, left ventricular hypertrophy, and PR interval. Main outcome Incident atrial fibrillation. Results The median age was 57 years (25th to 75th percentile: 49 to 67), 57% of patients were women, 85.7% were white, 14.3% were African American. During the mean follow-up period of 4.8 ± 0.85 years, 2455 (7.3%) subjects developed atrial fibrillation. Both models had poor calibration in our cohort, with under-prediction of AF among low-risk subjects and over-prediction of AF among high-risk subjects. The full CHARGE-AF model had a C-index of 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.70 to 0.72) in our cohort. The simple model had similar discrimination (C-index: 0
Hamatani, Yasuhiro; Ogawa, Hisashi; Takabayashi, Kensuke; Yamashita, Yugo; Takagi, Daisuke; Esato, Masahiro; Chun, Yeong-Hwa; Tsuji, Hikari; Wada, Hiromichi; Hasegawa, Koji; Abe, Mitsuru; Lip, Gregory Y. H.; Akao, Masaharu
Controversy exists regarding whether left atrial enlargement (LAE) is a predictor of stroke/systemic embolism (SE) in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. The Fushimi AF Registry, a community-based prospective survey, enrolled all AF patients in Fushmi-ku, Japan, from March 2011. Follow-up data and baseline echocardiographic data were available for 2,713 patients by August 2015. We compared backgrounds and incidence of events over a median follow-up of 976.5 days between patients with LAE (left atrial diameter > 45 mm; LAE group) and those without in the Fushimi AF Registry. The LAE group accounted for 39% (n = 1,049) of cohort. The LAE group was older and had longer AF duration, with more prevalent non-paroxysmal AF, higher CHADS2/CHA2DS2-VASc score, and oral anticoagulant (OAC) use. A higher risk of stroke/SE during follow-up in the LAE group was found (entire cohort; hazard ratio (HR): 1.92, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.40–2.64; p < 0.01; without OAC; HR: 1.97, 95% CI: 1.18–3.25; p < 0.01; with OAC; HR: 1.83, 95% CI: 1.21–2.82; p < 0.01). LAE was independently associated with increased risk of stroke/SE (HR: 1.74, 95% CI: 1.25–2.42; p < 0.01) after adjustment by the components of CHA2DS2-VASc score and OAC use. In conclusion, LAE was an independent predictor of stroke/SE in large community cohort of AF patients. PMID:27485817
Aslanidi, Oleg V; Colman, Michael A; Stott, Jonathan; Dobrzynski, Halina; Boyett, Mark R; Holden, Arun V; Zhang, Henggui
Despite a vast amount of experimental and clinical data on the underlying ionic, cellular and tissue substrates, the mechanisms of common atrial arrhythmias (such as atrial fibrillation, AF) arising from the functional interactions at the whole atria level remain unclear. Computational modelling provides a quantitative framework for integrating such multi-scale data and understanding the arrhythmogenic behaviour that emerges from the collective spatio-temporal dynamics in all parts of the heart. In this study, we have developed a multi-scale hierarchy of biophysically detailed computational models for the human atria--the 3D virtual human atria. Primarily, diffusion tensor MRI reconstruction of the tissue geometry and fibre orientation in the human sinoatrial node (SAN) and surrounding atrial muscle was integrated into the 3D model of the whole atria dissected from the Visible Human dataset. The anatomical models were combined with the heterogeneous atrial action potential (AP) models, and used to simulate the AP conduction in the human atria under various conditions: SAN pacemaking and atrial activation in the normal rhythm, break-down of regular AP wave-fronts during rapid atrial pacing, and the genesis of multiple re-entrant wavelets characteristic of AF. Contributions of different properties of the tissue to mechanisms of the normal rhythm and arrhythmogenesis were investigated. Primarily, the simulations showed that tissue heterogeneity caused the break-down of the normal AP wave-fronts at rapid pacing rates, which initiated a pair of re-entrant spiral waves; and tissue anisotropy resulted in a further break-down of the spiral waves into multiple meandering wavelets characteristic of AF. The 3D virtual atria model itself was incorporated into the torso model to simulate the body surface ECG patterns in the normal and arrhythmic conditions. Therefore, a state-of-the-art computational platform has been developed, which can be used for studying multi
Xue, Xiao-Dong; Huang, Jian-Hua; Wang, Hui-Shan
Patients with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) often experience persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) associated with adverse atrial structural remodeling (ASR) manifested by atrial fibrosis and left atrial enlargement. The aim of this study was to explore the potential molecular signaling mechanisms for atrial fibrosis and ASR. Twenty RHD patients with persistent AF and 10 RHD patients with sinus rhythm (Group A) were recruited in our study, which all underwent transthoracic echocardiography. Right atrial appendage (RAA) tissue samples were obtained from these patients during mitral/aortic valve replacement operation. The AF patients were further divided into two groups according to left atrial diameter (LAD): Group B with LAD ranging 50-65 mm and Group C with LAD >65 mm. Histological examinations were performed with hematoxylin-eosin staining and Masson's trichrome staining. Atrial angiotensin II (AngII) content was measured by ELISA. Rac1 and STAT3 protein levels were determined by Western blot analysis. Hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated highly organized arrangement of atrial muscles in control Group A and significant derangement in both Group B and C AF patients with reduced cell density and increased cell size. Moreover, Masson's trichrome staining showed that atrial myocytes were surrounded by large trunks of collagen fibers in both Group B and C, but not in Group A. There was a positive correlation between atrial tissue fibrosis and LAD. AngII content was markedly higher in Group C than in Group B than in Group A, which was positively correlated with LAD. Similarly, Rac1 and STAT3 protein levels were found considerably higher in Group C and B than in Group A with excellent correlation to LAD. Our study unraveled for the first time the AngII/Rac1/STAT3 signaling as a mechanism for ASR thereby AF in a particular clinical setting-RHD patients with persistent AF and indicated inhibition of this pathway may help ameliorating adverse ASR.
Katritsis, Demosthenes; Giazitzoglou, Eleftherios; Sougiannis, Demetrios; Goumas, Nicolaos; Paxinos, George; Camm, A John
There is evidence that parasympathetic denervation may prevent atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrences. This study aimed at applying an anatomic approach for ablation of atrial ganglionic plexi (GPs) in patients with paroxysmal AF. Nineteen patients with symptomatic, paroxysmal AF underwent anatomically guided radiofrequency ablation at the location of the 4 main left atrial GPs and were prospectively assessed for recurrence of AF or other atrial arrhythmia. This group was compared with 19 age- and gender-matched patients who previously underwent conventional circumferential pulmonary vein ablation. All ablation procedures were uneventful. Circumferential and GP ablations were accomplished with a radiofrequency delivery time of 28 +/- 5 versus 18 +/- 3 min (p <0.001) and a fluoroscopy time of 31 +/- 5 versus 18 +/- 5 min (p <0.001), respectively. Parasympathetic reflexes during radiofrequency ablation were elicited in 4 patients (21%). Arrhythmia recurred in 7 patients (37%) with circumferential ablation and 14 patients (74%) with GP ablation, during 1-year follow-up (p for log-rank test = 0.017). In 2 patients with GP ablation, left atrial flutters were documented in addition to AF during follow-up. Patients who underwent GP ablation had an almost 2.5 times higher risk of AF recurrence compared with those who underwent circumferential ablation (hazard ratio 2.6, 95% confidence interval 1.0 to 6.6, p = 0.038). In conclusion, anatomically guided GP ablation is feasible and safe in the electrophysiology laboratory, but this approach yields inferior clinical results compared with circumferential ablation.
Chiarugi, Franco; Varanini, Maurizio; Cantini, Federico; Conforti, Fabrizio; Vrouchos, Giorgos
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and entails an increased risk of thromboembolic events. Prediction of the termination of an AF episode, based on noninvasive techniques, can benefit patients, doctors and health systems. The method described in this paper is based on two-lead surface electrocardiograms (ECGs): 1-min ECG recordings of AF episodes including N-type (not terminating within an hour after the end of the record), S-type (terminating 1 min after the end of the record) and T-type (terminating immediately after the end of the record). These records are organised into three learning sets (N, S and T) and two test sets (A and B). Starting from these ECGs, the atrial and ventricular activities were separated using beat classification and class averaged beat subtraction, followed by the evaluation of seven parameters representing atrial or ventricular activity. Stepwise discriminant analysis selected the set including dominant atrial frequency (DAF, index of atrial activity) and average HR (HRmean, index of ventricular activity) as optimal for discrimination between N/T-type episodes. The linear classifier, estimated on the 20 cases of the N and T learning sets, provided a performance of 90% on the 30 cases of a test set for the N/T-type discrimination. The same classifier led to correct classification in 89% of the 46 cases for N/S-type discrimination. The method has shown good results and seems to be suitable for clinical application, although a larger dataset would be very useful for improvement and validation of the algorithms and the development of an earlier predictor of paroxysmal AF spontaneous termination time.
van de Klippe, H.A.; Allaart, C.P.; Ruiter, J.H.
Background Chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia, associated with a substantial morbidity (thromboemboli, worsening left ventricular function). Established therapy for pharmacological refractory AF is high-energy trans-thoracic electric cardioversion (TTCV), but this strategy is ineffective for 10-30% of the patients. The purpose of the present study is to establish the safety and efficacy of low-energy intracardiac cardioversion (ICCV) with a relatively new balloon-guided single-catheter system with dual chamber pacing possibility for this group of patients. Methods Patients in whom an attempt to restore sinus rhythm (SR) by TTCV under antiarrhythmic therapy failed were eligible for the study. For the ICCV-attempt, a single flow-guided atrial cardioversion catheter was used. Low-energy biphasic shocks of increasing energy (6-15 J) were delivered, if necessary in combination with intravenous amiodarone, until SR was restored. In case of early recurrence of AF, another attempt was made with immediate post-shock overdrive pacing (AOO) in order to suppress premature atrial activity. Results Initially, 14 of the 16 treated patients (90%) were converted to SR successfully. In eight patients additional amiodarone i.v. was administered and in six patients atrial overpacing was used after ICCV. In seven and five patients, respectively, these strategies were successful. Long-term follow-up (1-3 months) showed that in nine patients (56%) SR was preserved; eight of them on oral amiodarone. No adverse events were seen during the procedure and follow-up, especially no bleedings, despite puncturing under adequate anticoagulation therapy. Conclusion ICCV using a single atrial cardioversion catheter is a safe and effective method to restore SR in patients in whom TTCV failed previously. Long-term follow-up of this procedure is comparable to that of other studies. Results are influenced by antiarrhythmic drug therapy, compliance and patient selection. Images
Liang, Jackson J; Dixit, Sanjay; Santangeli, Pasquale
Early recurrence of atrial arrhythmias (ERAA) after ablation is common and strongly predicts late recurrences and ablation failure. However, since arrhythmia may eventually resolve in up to half of patients with ERAA, guidelines do not recommend immediate reintervention for ERAA episodes occurring during a 3-mo post-ablation blanking period. Certain clinical demographic, electrophysiologic, procedural, and ERAA-related characteristics may predict a higher likelihood of long-term ablation failure. In this review, we aim to discuss potential mechanisms of ERAA, and to summarize the clinical significance, prognostic implications, and treatment options for ERAA. PMID:27957250
Introduction Energy drinks and highly caffeinated drinks comprise some of the fastest growing products of the beverage industry, often targeting teenagers and young adults. Cardiac arrhythmias in children related to high caffeine consumption have not been well described in the literature. This case series describes the possible association between the consumption of highly caffeinated drinks and the subsequent development of atrial fibrillation in the adolescent population. Case presentations We report the cases of two Caucasian adolescent boys of 14 and 16 years of age at the time of presentation, each without a significant cardiac history, who presented with palpitations or vague chest discomfort or both after a recent history of excessive caffeine consumption. Both were found to have atrial fibrillation on electrocardiogram; one patient required digoxin to restore a normal sinus rhythm, and the other self-converted after intravenous fluid administration. Conclusion With the increasing popularity of energy drinks in the pediatric and adolescent population, physicians should be aware of the arrhythmogenic potential associated with highly caffeinated beverage consumption. It is important for pediatricians to understand the lack of regulation in the caffeine content and other ingredients of these high-energy beverages and their complications so that parents and children can be educated about the risk of cardiac arrhythmias with excessive energy drink consumption. PMID:21247417
Contractor, Tahmeed; Levin, Vadim; Desai, Ravi; Marchlinski, Francis E
Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and significantly increases patient risk of stroke, cardiomyopathy, and mortality. Rate versus rhythm control as the "best" treatment strategy remains an issue of considerable, ongoing debate. A multitude of clinical trials have compared the 2 strategies and have not shown any benefit of one approach over the other. However, the trials were conducted in specific subgroups of patients and demonstrated low success rates with antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) therapy and a high incidence of adverse AAD effects. Sub-analyses of the trials have confirmed that successful rhythm control with sinus rhythm restoration is associated with a significant reduction in patient mortality. More recently, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has emerged as a relatively effective procedure for maintaining sinus rhythm compared with use of AADs. Prospective randomized studies have shown good treatment results after the use of RFA, with acceptable risk. Given the limitation of pharmacologic rate versus rhythm control studies, and the promise of RFA, rhythm control should again be reconsidered as the "best" approach for managing many subgroups of patients with atrial fibrillation.
Hanna, Michael S; Mohan, Puneet; Knabb, Robert; Gupta, Elora; Frost, Charles; Lawrence, John H
The factor Xa inhibitor apixaban is one of the novel anticoagulants to emerge as alternatives to long-standing standards of care that include low-molecular-weight heparin and warfarin. The development of apixaban reflects a strategy to optimize the clinical pharmacology profile, dosing posology, trial designs, and statistical analyses across multiple indications, and to seek alignment with global health authorities. The primary objective of dose selection was to maintain balance between efficacy and bleeding risk. Twice-daily dosing of apixaban, rather than once daily, was chosen to lower peak concentrations and reduce fluctuations between peak and trough levels. Our discussion here focuses on the use of apixaban for stroke prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Supporting this indication, a pair of registrational trials was conducted that enrolled the full spectrum of patients who, by guidelines, were eligible for anticoagulation. In the AVERROES study of patients who were unsuitable for warfarin therapy, apixaban was superior to aspirin in reducing the risk of stroke or systemic embolism (SSE), without a significant increase in major bleeding (MB). In the ARISTOTLE (Apixaban for Reduction In STroke and Other ThromboemboLic Events in Atrial Fibrillation) study, apixaban was superior to warfarin on the rates of SSE, MB, and all-cause mortality. Overall, these studies have demonstrated a substantially favorable benefit-risk profile for apixaban over warfarin and aspirin in NVAF.
Nabauer, Michael; Gerth, Andrea; Limbourg, Tobias; Schneider, Steffen; Oeff, Michael; Kirchhof, Paulus; Goette, Andreas; Lewalter, Thorsten; Ravens, Ursula; Meinertz, Thomas; Breithardt, Günter; Steinbeck, Gerhard
Aims The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) enrolled in the Central Registry of the German Competence NETwork on Atrial Fibrillation (AFNET) and to assess current medical practice in patients treated at various levels of medical care in Germany. Methods and results From February 2004 to March 2006, 9582 ambulatory and hospitalized patients with ECG-documented AF were enrolled by 194 participating study centres from all levels of medical care in Germany. Clinical type of AF was reported as paroxysmal in 2893, persistent in 1873, and permanent in 3134 patients or classified as a first episode in 1035 patients. Predisposing conditions were common and present in 87.6% of the patients. Most patients were symptomatic with AF (75.1%). Rhythm control in persistent AF was provided to 53.4% of the symptomatic patients and to 47.8% of the patients without symptoms. Anticoagulation for stroke prevention was given to 71.4% of the patients considered eligible by applicable guidelines and to 48.4% of patients with low risk where guidelines do not recommend anticoagulation. Conclusion This registry provides insight into current medical care of patients with AF in Germany. The use of oral anticoagulation in eligible patients was among the highest reported, whereas decisions on rate and rhythm control often do not follow current recommendations. PMID:19153087