Risk factors for atrial fibrillation recurrence: a literature review

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2014 Mar;15(3):235-53. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0b013e328358554b.


Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia managed in clinical practice and it is associated with an increased risk of mortality, stroke and peripheral embolism. Unfortunately, the incidence of atrial fibrillation recurrence ranges from 40 to 50%, despite the attempts of electrical cardioversion and the administration of antiarrhythmic drugs. In this review, the literature data about predictors of atrial fibrillation recurrence are highlighted, with special regard to clinical, therapeutic, biochemical, ECG and echocardiographic parameters after electrical cardioversion and ablation. Identifying predictors of success in maintaining sinus rhythm after cardioversion or ablation may allow a better selection of patients to undergo these procedures. The aim is to reduce healthcare costs and avoid exposing patients to unnecessary procedures and related complications. Recurrent atrial fibrillation depends on a combination of several parameters and each patient should be individually assessed for such a risk of recurrence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy*
  • Atrial Remodeling
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Electric Countershock
  • Electrocardiography
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers