Atrial Fibrillation in Hematologic Malignancies, Especially After Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Review of Risk Factors, Current Management, and Future Directions

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2016 Feb;16(2):70-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2015.10.001. Epub 2015 Oct 24.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. In addition to well-established risk factors, cancer has been increasingly associated with the development of AF. Its increased occurrence in those with hematologic malignancies has been attributed to chemotherapeutic agents and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT). Recently, a few studies have attempted to define the etiopathogenesis of AF in hematologic malignancies. The management of AF in these patients is challenging because of the concurrent complicating factors, such as thrombocytopenia, orthostatic hypotension, and cardiac amyloidosis. More studies are needed to define the management of AF, especially rate versus rhythm control and anticoagulation. Arrhythmias, in particular, AF, have been associated with an increased length of stay, increased intensive care unit admissions, and greater cardiovascular mortality. In the present review, we describe AF in patients with hematologic malignancies, the risk factors, especially after AHSCT, and the current management of AF.

Keywords: Anticoagulation; Cardiac biomarkers; Rate versus rhythm control; Telemetry; Weight and fluid management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology*
  • Disease Management
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors