Evidence for diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation has expanded substantially since 2017, when In the Clinic last considered this subject. Direct oral anticoagulants have become the predominant therapy for thromboembolic disease, and antidotes for these drugs are now available. Device-based left atrial appendage occlusion is frequently used in patients who cannot tolerate systemic anticoagulation, and growing evidence suggests that early rhythm control improves outcomes. Catheter ablation is now frequently performed to prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation. Managing risk factors for atrial fibrillation, such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, remains paramount in prevention of this condition.
Use this article to:
- Review the clinical presentations of atrial fibrillation.
- List factors associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation.
- Review the options for anticoagulation for patients with atrial fibrillation and how to choose from among the options.
- Test your knowledge by completing the quiz that accompanies the article and then review the correct answers.
In the Clinic is a feature of Annals of Internal Medicine which includes practical reviews about the management of common clinical conditions. Annals of Internal Medicine is the premier internal medicine academic journal published by the American College of Physicians (ACP). It is one of the most widely cited and influential specialty medical journals in the world.