Newer Diagnostic and Cost-Effective Ways to Identify Asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation for the Prevention of Stroke

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Jan 2;13(1):e12437. doi: 10.7759/cureus.12437.


Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is the most common and underestimated cardiac arrhythmia with a lifetime risk of >35% after the age of 55 years and the risk continues to rise exponentially. Afib leads to stasis of blood within the atria allowing clot formation and increasing the risk for systemic embolization leading to strokes. Outcomes due to Afib can improve significantly with appropriate treatment. Thus, the need for convenient, well-tolerated, cost-effective cardiac monitoring for Afib is needed. The study aims to evaluate the various newer devices and compare them with traditional Holter monitoring, keeping diagnostic yield, cost-effectiveness, and patients' convenience in mind. Though Holter monitoring is simple and non-expensive, it has major limitations including limited recording capacity, inability for real-time recordings, and inconvenience to patients. Zio Patch (iRhythm Technologies, Inc; San Francisco, CA) and other loop recording devices are patient-friendly, inexpensive, and can offer real-time data for longer days. More prospective studies are needed to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, and the actual number of patients getting benefits from newer devices by diagnosing Afib sooner and start early prevention therapy.

PMID:33552757 | PMC:PMC7854334 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.12437

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