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Impact of Atrial Fibrillation on cardiovascular mortality in the setting of myocardial infarction

Atrial fibrillation (AF) commonly occurs in patient with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Potential triggers for AF development in this setting includes reduced left ventricular function, advanced diastolic dysfunction and mitral regurgitation leading to elevated left atrial pressures and atrial stretch. Other triggering mechanisms include inflammation and atrial ischemia. Multiple studies have shown that AF in patients with is associated with increased mortality. However, whether AF is a risk marker or a causal mediator of death remains controversial.

There is relative dearth of data with regard to optimal management of AF in the setting of acute coronary syndromes. Patients with AMI who develop AF are at increased risk of stroke. However, the issue of the most appropriate antithrombotic regimens is complex given the need to balance stroke prevention against recurrent coronary events or stent thrombosis and the risk of bleeding. Presently, ‘triple therapy’ consisting of dual antiplatelet agents plus oral anticoagulants for 3–6 months or longer has been recommended for patients at moderate–high risk of stroke. 



Credits: Mahmoud Suleiman, MD; Doron Aronson, MD

Biosense Webster
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Introduction to AFib
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