Taniguchi N, et al. Circ J 2020.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in adults and has unfavorable consequences such as stroke, heart failure (HF), and death. HF is the most common adverse event following AF and the leading cause of death. Therefore, identifying the association between AF and HF is important to establish risk stratification for HF in AF. Recent studies suggested that left atrial and ventricular fibrosis is an important link between AF and HF, and the prognostic impact may differ with respect to HF subtype, stratified with left ventricular ejection fraction (EF). Mortality risk in patients with concurrent AF and HF with reduced EF (HFrEF) appears slightly higher compared with those with concurrent AF and HF with preserved EF (HFpEF). On the other hand, the prognostic impact of HF in AF is similar between HFrEF and HFpEF. Further, left atrial size, as well as left atrial and left ventricular functional assessment, are reported to be useful for the prediction of HF in AF, incremental to the conventional risk factors. In this review, we focus on the epidemiological, pathophysiological, and prognostic associations between AF and HF, and review the clinical and echocardiographic predictors for HF in AF.