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Can J Cardiol. 2011 Jan-Feb;27(1):7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2010.11.009.

Comparing the 2010 North American and European atrial fibrillation guidelines.

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  • 1Department of Cardiac Sciences, University of Calgary and Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


This article compares the important differences in the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF)/American Heart Association (AHA)/Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2010 guidelines on atrial fibrillation (AF). All guidelines recommend more lenient targets for ventricular rate control although the CCS guidelines recommend a target heart rate at rest <100 bpm whereas the the ACCF/AHA/HRS and ESC guidelines accept a target heart rate at rest <110 bpm with provisos. All the guidelines recommend that the choice of antiarrhythmic drug for maintenance of sinus rhythm be based on the underlying cardiovascular disease state. However, the CCS guidelines do not recommend that the use of Class IC drugs or sotalol be restricted in the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy alone. All the guidelines have incorporated dronedarone into their recommendations of antiarrhythmic drug therapy for maintenance of sinus rhythm. However, the CCS guidelines do not make a specific recommendation that the use of dronedarone is reasonable to decrease the risk of hospitalization for cardiovascular causes in patients with AF. The ACCF/AHA/HRS update makes a strong recommendation for catheter ablation in patients with paroxysmal AF who have failed a single anti-arrhythmic drug whereas the CCS and ESC guidelines make this a conditional recommendation. The CCS guidelines are the only guidelines at present that recommend dabigitran for prevention of stroke in high risk patients and suggest that dabigatran is preferred to warfarin for stroke prevention in most patient groups.

Copyright © 2011 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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