Guideline Update: Managing A-Fib Patients in 2011
The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/European Society of Cardiology 2006 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Atrial Fibrillation has been updated for 2011, focusing on several areas in which new data has become available for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
According to the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), “Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that occurs when the heart’s two upper chambers beat erratically, causing the chambers to pump blood rapidly, unevenly, and inefficiently. Blood can pool and clot in the chambers, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack.”
Emerging data on the management of AF patients suggests health care providers need to look at the usefulness of catheter ablation to maintain normal sinus rhythm and the combined use of antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy to reduce the risk of major vascular events, but reconsider the strict control of heart rate.
The new recommendations were published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the HeartRhythm Journal.
HRS has made the 2011 update available for download on its website.