Heart. 2021 Jun 4:heartjnl-2020-318081. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2020-318081. Online ahead of print.
Atrial fibrillation is increasingly encountered in patients with heart failure. Both diseases have seen tremendous rises in incidence in recent years. In general, the treatment of atrial fibrillation is focused on relieving patients from atrial fibrillation-related symptoms and risk reduction for thromboembolism and the occurrence or worsening of heart failure. Symptomatic relief may be accomplished by either (non-)pharmacological rate or rhythm control in combination with optimal therapy of underlying cardiovascular morbidities and risk factors. Atrial fibrillation ablation has been performed in patients without overt heart failure successfully for many years. However, in recent years, attempts have been made for patients with heart failure as well. In this review, we discuss the current literature describing the treatment of atrial fibrillation in heart failure. We highlight the early rate versus rhythm control studies, the importance of addressing underlying conditions and treatment of risk factors. A critical evaluation will be performed of the catheter ablation studies that have been performed so far in light of larger (post-hoc) ablation studies. Furthermore, we will hypothesise the role of patient selection as next step in optimising outcome for patient with atrial fibrillation and heart failure.