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Atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure

Hynes, B. John MD; Luck, Jerry C. MD; Wolbrette, Deborah L. MD; Bhatta, Luna MD; Khan, Mazhar MD; Samii, Soraya MD; Naccarelli, Gerald V. MD

Current Opinion in Cardiology: January 2003 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 32-38
Arrhythmias
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Atrial fibrillation and heart failure are very common cardiac disorders, and both are associated with symptoms, significant morbidity, and mortality. Studies have attempted to determine the prognostic significance of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure. Whether atrial fibrillation is an independent risk factor of mortality remains controversial. Multiple trials using either pharmacologic or nonpharmacologic therapies in an attempt to manage atrial fibrillation have been developed. The purposes of this review are to present an overview of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure and to discuss the prevalence, prognostic significance, complications, mechanisms, and trials that have formed the therapies presently used.

Division of Cardiology and Penn State Cardiovascular Center, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.

Correspondence to Gerald V. Naccarelli, MD, Division of Cardiology, Penn State University College of Medicine, M.C. H047, Hershey, PA 17033, USA; e-mail: gnaccarelli@psu.edu

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.