The predictive value of cardiac biomarkers in prognosis and risk stratification of patients with atrial fibrillation.
Curr Opin Cardiol. 2011 Sep;26(5):449-56
Authors: Brugts JJ, Akin S, Helming AM, Loonstra S, van den Bos EJ, Kofflard MJ
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Atrial fibrillation is a significant public health issue considering its high prevalence in the general population, and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity and thrombo-embolic complications.Asymptomatic paroxysms of atrial fibrillation occur frequently in the first stages of the disease but patients present to the doctor at a relatively late stage when the associated complications have already taken place. It is crucial to identify such patients as early as possible in order to start preventive therapy. Clinical diagnostic tests to identify patients prone to atrial fibrillation complications have not yet been developed as the exact mechanism and substrate of subclinical atrial fibrillation are not known. Further research is necessary to understand the pathophysiology of subclinical atrial fibrillation and to identify potential risk markers that determine the development and prognosis of the disease.
RECENT FINDINGS: Biomarkers have recently been identified which have been shown to be related to the incidence of atrial fibrillation and its prognosis. They reflect inflammation, neurohumoral activation and subclinical heart damage.
SUMMARY: New biomarkers may help to understand the mechanisms of subclinical atrial fibrillation and signal the likelihood of disease progression. Such biomarkers, though subject to further validation, may be of value in predicting the prognosis and guiding the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation. They may enhance the ability of risk scores to guide anticoagulant treatment strategies.
PMID: 21765376 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]