Lone atrial fibrillation: where are we now?

Link to article at PubMed

Lone atrial fibrillation: where are we now?

Hosp Pract (Minneap). 2011 Nov;39(4):17-31

Authors: Potpara TS, Lip GY

There is a growing pandemic of atrial fibrillation (AF), affecting nearly 2% of the general adult population. Atrial fibrillation is commonly associated with structural heart disease, and AF itself causes a sequence of complex processes of electrical, contractile, and structural remodeling of the atrial myocardium, which facilitate further AF progression. Nonetheless, AF may also affect individuals aged ? 65 years who have no evidence of associated cardiopulmonary or other disease, including hypertension; this is otherwise referred to as "lone" AF and is considered to have a generally favorable prognosis. The true prevalence of lone AF is unknown. Growing insights into the diversity of numerous mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of AF, including acute atrial stretch, structural and electrophysiological alterations, systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, autonomic imbalance, genetic predisposition, and many others, and increasing recognition of novel risk factors for AF, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, subclinical atherosclerosis, sleep apnea, alcohol consumption, and endurance sports, suggest that apparently lone AF might not be so "lone" in many patients, which could have important prognostic and therapeutic implications. In this article, we summarize the current knowledge of epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, and pathophysiology of so-called lone AF and discuss the issues of long-term prognosis and management of patients who have an apparently lone AF.

PMID: 22056820 [PubMed - in process]

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