Purpose of review
To review the shared pathology of atrial fibrillation and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and the prognostic, diagnostic, and treatment challenges incurred by the co-occurrence of these increasingly prevalent diseases.
Multiple risk factors and mechanisms have been proposed as potentially linking atrial fibrillation and HFpEF, with systemic inflammation more recently being invoked. Nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants, left atrial appendage occlusion devices, and catheter ablation have emerged as alternative treatment options. Other novel pharmacological agents, such as neprilysin inhibitors, need to be studied further in this patient population.
Atrial fibrillation and HFpEF commonly co-occur because of their shared risk factors and pathophysiology and incur increased morbidity and mortality relative to either condition alone. Although the presence of both diseases can often make each diagnosis difficult, it is important to do so early in the disease course as there are now a variety of treatment options aimed at improving symptoms and quality of life, slowing disease progression, and improving prognosis. However, more research needs to be performed on the role of catheter ablation in this population. Novel pharmacologic and procedural treatment options appear promising and may further improve the treatment options available to this growing population.