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Personalized AF management needed to close mortality gap
Date:8/27/2013

eady practised in AF. Stroke risk scores based on clinically measurable risk factors aid decisions on anticoagulant therapy while the severity of AF symptoms help to determine rhythm control therapy.

The consensus paper identifies three main ways to better characterise the underlying cause of AF in order to improve treatment: the electrocardiogram (ECG); imaging, especially echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and biomarkers (proteins or genes measured in blood to identify the type of AF).

A new taxonomy of AF is proposed based on its pathophysiology. Professor Kirchhof said: "The classification is imperfect because there are overlaps between categories and the majority of AF patients fall into the 'unclassified AF' group. But it illustrates that we need a better understanding of why AF develops in an individual patient before we can classify them based on biomarkers, imaging or ECG, in addition to clinical parameters, and develop better therapies."

He added: "The hope is that within the next few years we will be able to propose personalised management of AF and thereby reduce the excess mortality associated with the disease."

Professor Kirchhof continued: "There is still plenty of room to improve the management of AF even if we apply all the evidence based therapies currently available for example the new oral anticoagulants have improved mortality by just 5-10%. And every fourth patient with AF is admitted to hospital at least once a year due to AF, which illustrates the high morbidity and healthcare costs associated with the disease."

He concluded: "This is the first European consensus document on personalised management of AF, which is the most promising way to further improve morbidity and mortality in AF patients."


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Contact: Press Office
press@escardio.org
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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