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Intern Emerg Med. 2012 Jun;7(3):213-8. doi: 10.1007/s11739-011-0637-0. Epub 2011 Jun 11.

Peripheral artery disease and atrial fibrillation: a potentially dangerous combination.

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  • 1Divisione di I Clinica Medica, Sapienza-University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is commonly associated with a significant increase in stroke and thromboembolic risk. Many patients with AF have associated atherothrombosis given the many risk factors for atherosclerosis that also predispose to AF. Vascular disease, whether peripheral artery disease or myocardial infarction, contributes to the increased risk of stroke and thromboembolism, and has been included in stroke risk assessment schema. This review analyzes the interplay between AF and peripheral artery disease in relation to their associated pathophysiology, as well as epidemiological data linking both conditions and the associated thromboembolic complications conferred by the presence of both.

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