Minimally Symptomatic Atrial Fibrillation Patients Derive Significant Symptom Relief Following Rate Control or Rhythm Control Therapy

David Ryan King, Neil D. Mehta, Anil K. Gehi, Irion Pursell, Paul Mounsey, Prabhat Kumar, Ayo Bamimore, Eugene H. Chung


Background: It can be challenging to convince asymptomatic to minimally symptomatic patients to pursue treatment of their atrial fibrillation (AF). We hypothesized that once in sinus rhythm, asymptomatic to minimally symptomatic patients would realize they were compensating for moderate symptoms, and that we could quantify this via the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Severity of AF (CCS-SAF) score.

Methods: All patients in our study come from the Symptom Mitigation in Atrial Fibrillation (SMART) study. Upon enrollment all patients were assigned a CCS-SAF score. Patients receiving a CCS-SAF score of 0 or 1 that elected to pursue intervention were contacted by phone and asked about their symptoms post-intervention as compared to pre-intervention. Paired t-test was used for analysis.

Results: Out of 800 patients in the SMART study to date, 48 patients have qualified for our phone survey and presented for follow-up in our clinic. In our cohort, the revised pre-intervention CCS-SAF score was 1.69 ± 1.36 and the post-intervention CCS-SAF score was 0.52 ± 0.80. Thirty-seven patients reported symptom improvement; those who improved were on average 72.4% improved from baseline.

Conclusions: We conclude asymptomatic to minimally symptomatic AF patients benefit from therapy and should be offered intervention despite lack of symptoms.

J Clin Med Res. 2015;7(9):690-693


Antiarrhythmic drugs; Atrial fibrillation; Electrophysiology; Heart

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