Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Atrial flutter


Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) using the Watchman device was FDA-approved as a stroke prevention alternative to warfarin for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. However, clinical decision-making is confounded by the fact that while LAAC avoids the anticoagulant-related lifetime risk of bleeding, implantation is associated with up-front complications. Thus, enthusiasm for LAAC as a treatment option has been appropriately tempered, particularly as the therapy is introduced beyond the clinical trial sites into general clinical practice.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Atrial flutter, Clinical trial protocol, Left atrial appendage occlusion, Left atrial appendage


Whether coffee consumption affects the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF) remains unclear. We sought to investigate the association between coffee consumption and incidence of AF in two prospective cohorts, and to summarize available evidence using a meta-analysis.

Concepts: Heart, Atrial fibrillation, Coffee, The Association, Atrial flutter


Background Edoxaban is a direct oral factor Xa inhibitor with proven antithrombotic effects. The long-term efficacy and safety of edoxaban as compared with warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation is not known. Methods We conducted a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy trial comparing two once-daily regimens of edoxaban with warfarin in 21,105 patients with moderate-to-high-risk atrial fibrillation (median follow-up, 2.8 years). The primary efficacy end point was stroke or systemic embolism. Each edoxaban regimen was tested for noninferiority to warfarin during the treatment period. The principal safety end point was major bleeding. Results The annualized rate of the primary end point during treatment was 1.50% with warfarin (median time in the therapeutic range, 68.4%), as compared with 1.18% with high-dose edoxaban (hazard ratio, 0.79; 97.5% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 0.99; P<0.001 for noninferiority) and 1.61% with low-dose edoxaban (hazard ratio, 1.07; 97.5% CI, 0.87 to 1.31; P=0.005 for noninferiority). In the intention-to-treat analysis, there was a trend favoring high-dose edoxaban versus warfarin (hazard ratio, 0.87; 97.5% CI, 0.73 to 1.04; P=0.08) and an unfavorable trend with low-dose edoxaban versus warfarin (hazard ratio, 1.13; 97.5% CI, 0.96 to 1.34; P=0.10). The annualized rate of major bleeding was 3.43% with warfarin versus 2.75% with high-dose edoxaban (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.91; P<0.001) and 1.61% with low-dose edoxaban (hazard ratio, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.55; P<0.001). The corresponding annualized rates of death from cardiovascular causes were 3.17% versus 2.74% (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.97; P=0.01), and 2.71% (hazard ratio, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.96; P=0.008), and the corresponding rates of the key secondary end point (a composite of stroke, systemic embolism, or death from cardiovascular causes) were 4.43% versus 3.85% (hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.78 to 0.96; P=0.005), and 4.23% (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.05; P=0.32). Conclusions Both once-daily regimens of edoxaban were noninferior to warfarin with respect to the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism and were associated with significantly lower rates of bleeding and death from cardiovascular causes. (Funded by Daiichi Sankyo Pharma Development; ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 number, NCT00781391 .).

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Thrombus, Atrial flutter, Embolism


GLORIA-AF (Global Registry on Long-Term Oral Antithrombotic Treatment in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation) is a prospective, global registry program describing antithrombotic treatment patterns in patients with newly diagnosed nonvalvular atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke. Phase 2 began when dabigatran, the first non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), became available.

Concepts: Heart, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Atrial flutter, Anticoagulant, Dabigatran


Diagnosing atrial fibrillation (AF) before ischemic stroke occurs is a priority for stroke prevention in AF. Smartphone camera-based photoplethysmographic (PPG) pulse waveform measurement discriminates between different heart rhythms, but its ability to diagnose AF in real-world situations has not been adequately investigated. We sought to assess the diagnostic performance of a standalone smartphone PPG application, Cardiio Rhythm, for AF screening in primary care setting.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Heart, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Transient ischemic attack, Greek loanwords, Rhythm, Atrial flutter


A 42-year-old man presented to the emergency department (ED) with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation of unknown duration. Interrogation of the patient’s wrist-worn activity tracker and smartphone application identified the onset of the arrhythmia as within the previous 3 hours, permitting electrocardioversion and discharge of the patient from the ED.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Atrial fibrillation, Atrial flutter, Ireland, The Onset, Dublin


Heat shock protein (HSP) 27 is related to the pathogenesis of AF. However, the clinical relationship between HSP27 and AF is unclear. The present study was conducted to determine the clinical relationship between HSP27 and atrial fibrillation (AF).

Concepts: Present, Atrial fibrillation, Atrial flutter, Heat shock protein, Hsp27


The classic cut and sew maze is thought to reduce stroke, in part because of left atrial appendage (LAA) elimination. Multiple LAA elimination techniques have evolved with the introduction of new surgical treatment options for atrial fibrillation (AF), but the impact on stroke remains unknown. We studied the rate of late neurologic event (LNE) in the era of contemporary AF surgery.

Concepts: Medicine, Hospital, Atrial fibrillation, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Atrial flutter, Left atrial appendage occlusion, Left atrial appendage


BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after ablation is difficult to predict. The development of AF is associated with inflammation, and inflammatory markers such as big endothelin-1 (big ET-1) reflect inflammatory status. It is unknown, however, whether big ET-1 can be used as a predictor for AF recurrence. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between plasma levels of big ET-1 and AF recurrence. METHODS: A total of 158 patients who had undergone primary ablation for symptomatic and/or drug-refractory AF, including 103 with paroxysmal and 55 with persistent AF, were included in this study. Left atrial diameter was measured with echocardiography and plasma big ET-1 levels with ELISA. All patients were followed up for at least 12 months and AF recurrence defined as an episode of AF lasting ≥ 30 s, with or without atrial flutter or atrial tachycardia. RESULTS: The AF recurrence rate was 44.9% (71/158) during the median follow-up period of 22 (13, 40) months. Plasma levels of big ET-1 in the recurrence group were higher than those in the non-recurrence group in all patients [0.80 (0.54, 1.30) vs. 0.57 (0.48, 0.72) fmol·L(-) (1), p  = 0.001], in patients with paroxysmal AF [0.81 (0.46, 1.30) vs. 0.57 (0.48, 0.70) fmol·L(-) (1), p  = 0.009] as well as in patients with persistent AF [0.77 (0.57, 1.28) vs. 0.57 (0.49, 0.89) fmol·L(-) (1), p = 0.034]. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that plasma levels of big ET-1 were associated with AF recurrence in patients with paroxysmal AF (p  = 0.037). Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that the sinus rhythm maintenance rate was lower in patients with higher big ET-1 levels than those with lower levels (p  < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Baseline plasma big ET-1 levels are associated with AF recurrence after primary ablation procedure in patients with paroxysmal AF, and may be used in the prediction of AF recurrence in these patients.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Atrial fibrillation, Cardiac electrophysiology, Supraventricular tachycardia, Atrial flutter, Tachycardia, Left atrial appendage


The anatomical and functional characteristics of the left atrial appendage (LAA) and its relationships with anatomical remodeling and ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have not been clearly established. The purpose of this study was to determine whether functional and morphological features of the LAA independently predict clinical outcome and stroke in patients with AF who underwent catheter ablation (CA). Two hundred sixty-four patients with AF, including 176 with paroxysmal AF (PAF, 54.0 ± 11.4 years old, M:F = 138:38) and 88 with persistent AF (PeAF, 56.4 ± 9.6 years old, M:F = 74:14) were studied. Of these patients, 31 (11.7 %) had a history of stroke/TIA (transient ischemic attack). The LA and LAA volumes were 124.0 ± 42.4 and 24.9 ± 4.3 ml in PeAF, these values were greater than those in PAF (81.2 ± 24.8 ml and 21.2 ± 5.1 ml, P < 0.001). The AF type (P = 0.016) and AF duration (P = 0.005), and anti-arrhythmic drugs use (P < 0.001) were significant predictors of AF recurrence after CA in all patients. Compared with patients without history of stroke, stroke patients had larger LA volume (106.9 ± 23.0 vs. 94.0 ± 38.9 ml, P = 0.004) and had lower LAA EF (50.0 ± 11.0 vs. 65.7 ± 13.4 %, P < 0.001). The independent predictors of stroke were age (P = 0.002) and LAA EF (P < 0.001) in PAF patients and that was only age (P = 0.001) in PeAF patients. In anatomical and morphological parameters of the LA and LAA, only depressed systolic function of the LAA was significantly related to stroke/TIA and recurrence of AF after CA in paroxysmal AF patients. Further large scaled prospective study is required for validation.

Concepts: Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Transient ischemic attack, Blood pressure, Atrial flutter, Cultural studies, Left atrial appendage occlusion, Left atrial appendage