||Epidemiology update: Scope of the problem
- For the purposes of this slide kit, the term "AF" (atrial fibrillation) refers to arrhythmia not related to valvular heart disease (nonvalvular AF).
- AF is a supraventricular tachycardia characterized by uncoordinated atrial function.1 It may be isolated or associated with atrial flutter or atrial tachycardia. The atrial rate is 240 to 320 beats per minute (bpm). Two-to-one atrioventricular block is common, producing a ventricular rate of 120 to 160 bpm.
- This arrhythmia, the most commonly encountered in clinical practice and a major cause of cardioembolic stroke, is associated with a number of ongoing issues and related challenges. These are summarized on the slide.
- This slide kit addresses areas where progress is occurring, including mechanisms of AF-related stroke, risk stratification, and the role of anticoagulant therapy.
1Fuster V, Rydén LE, Asinger RW, Cannom DS, Crijns HJ, Frye RL, et al. ACC/AHA/ESC guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: Executive summary: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force of Practice Guidelines and the European Society of Cardiology Committee for Practice Guidelines and Policy Conferences (Committee to Develop Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Atrial Fibrillation). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001;38:1231-1265.