Research on the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (July 2012)

This EGD outlines how future studies can improve our knowledge of atrial fibrillation by addressing certain critical aspects of study design. It also provides a set of priorities, which are intended to address our lack of understanding of disease progression, optimal timing of treatments, and/or the history of disease.

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal cardiac rhythm disorder that affects 2.2 million Americans and 20 million individuals worldwide. Identified as one of the top national priorities for comparative effectiveness research by the Institute of Medicine, atrial fibrillation can lead to increased long term risk of stroke, heart failure, and all-cause mortality, and even in mild forms can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. While there are a variety of therapeutic options available—medical management, catheter-based ablation, and surgery—there is relatively little guidance for physicians and patients in selecting the best treatment option for each individual.

CMTP obtained input from stakeholder meetings in August and October of 2010. These recommendations, in their current form, have been revised following subsequent interactions with those on our technical working group.