A review of the impact, pathophysiology, and management of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction


Advocate Christ Medical Center


Patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) have increased mortality and increased risk of stroke. Due to the heterogeneous nature of both disease processes, it is difficult to ascertain whether the diagnosis and progression of AF is the cause of deterioration or if it is a symptom of worsening heart failure. This presents physicians with a clinical conundrum of whether optimizing their heart failure will decrease the overall AF burden or if restoration of sinus rhythm is necessary to optimize patients with HFpEF. In this paper, we will review the impact of AF in patients with HFpEF, the pathophysiology and heterogeneity of HFpEF and AF, and the management of these patients. As HFpEF and AF become more prevalent, managing these disease processes needs standardization to improve outcomes. Further research is needed to understand the complex interplay between AF and HFpEF to help determine the best management strategy.

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