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Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2019 Dec;12(12):e007809. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.119.007809. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Atrial Fibrillation-Mediated Cardiomyopathy.

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Corrigan Minehan Heart Center Cardiac Arrhythmia Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


AF-mediated cardiomyopathy (AMC) is an important reversible cause of heart failure that is likely underdiagnosed in today's clinical practice. AMC describes AF either as the sole cause for ventricular dysfunction or exacerbating ventricular dysfunction in patients with existing cardiomyopathy or heart failure. Studies suggest that irreversible ventricular and atrial remodeling can occur in AMC, making timely diagnosis and intervention critical to optimize clinical outcome. Clinical correlation between AF onset/burden and progression of cardiomyopathy/heart failure symptoms provides strong evidence for the diagnosis of AMC. Cardiac MRI, continuous cardiac monitoring, and biomarkers are important diagnostic tools. From the therapeutic standpoint, early data suggest that AF ablation may improve long-term outcomes in AMC patients compared with medical rate and rhythm control. Patients with more AF burden and less severe underlying structural heart disease are more likely to experience left ventricle function recovery with successful AF ablation. Despite recent advances, significant knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of the epidemiology, mechanisms, diagnosis, management strategies, and prognosis of AMC.


atrial fibrillation; atrial remodeling; biomarkers; cardiomyopathies; heart failure


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