Atrial fibrillation and heart failure: update 2015

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Sep-Oct;58(2):126-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2015.07.004. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


Heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) commonly coexist, adversely affect mortality, and impose a significant burden on healthcare resources. The presence of AF and HF portends a poor prognosis as well as an increased thromboembolic risk. In patients whose AF is symptomatic, rhythm restoration with either antiarrhythmic drugs or procedural therapies (e.g., pulmonary vein isolation, either catheter-based or surgical) should be considered for symptom improvement, though a mortality benefit has yet to be demonstrated. Emerging evidence suggests that non-pharmacological treatment for AF (including catheter based ablation, hybrid surgical techniques, and atrioventricular node ablation with biventricular pacing) may be of value in improving HF patients' quality of life.

Keywords: Anti-arrhythmia drugs; Anticoagulation; Atrial fibrillation; Catheter ablation; Heart failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / mortality
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy*
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Comorbidity
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Anticoagulants