Atrial fibrillation and heart failure are
closely linked cardiac conditions that are both increasing in prevalence due to
shared risk factors and common disease mechanisms. The presence of both disease
entities portends an increase in morbidity and mortality. There are significant
similarities in the treatment strategies of these conditions, and the adequate
management of one disease may prevent the development of the other. To this
date, a rhythm control strategy, even in the heart failure population, has not
been proven to be superior to a rate control strategy. This may in large be due
to study design coupled with deleterious effects of antiarrhythmic agents.
There have been considerable advances over the past decade in catheter and
device based management of atrial fibrillation and studies aimed to examine
their long-term effect in patients with heart failure are underway.
Credits: Kay Lee Park, MD; Elad Anter, MD