Atrial fibrillation

Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016 Mar 31;2:16016. doi: 10.1038/nrdp.2016.16.

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac rhythm disorder, and increases in prevalence with increasing age and the number of cardiovascular comorbidities. AF is characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat that can be asymptomatic or lead to symptoms such as palpitations, dyspnoea and dizziness. The condition can also be associated with serious complications, including an increased risk of stroke. Important recent developments in the clinical epidemiology and management of AF have informed our approach to this arrhythmia. This Primer provides a comprehensive overview of AF, including its epidemiology, mechanisms and pathophysiology, diagnosis, screening, prevention and management. Management strategies, including stroke prevention, rate control and rhythm control, are considered. We also address quality of life issues and provide an outlook on future developments and ongoing clinical trials in managing this common arrhythmia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ablation Techniques / methods
  • Ablation Techniques / standards
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / pharmacology
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Electric Countershock / methods
  • Flecainide / pharmacology
  • Flecainide / therapeutic use
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Myocardial Ischemia / complications
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Propafenone / pharmacology
  • Propafenone / therapeutic use
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Warfarin / pharmacology

Substances

  • Anticoagulants
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Sodium Channel Blockers
  • Warfarin
  • Propafenone
  • Flecainide
  • Aspirin