Rate versus rhythm control strategies for AF
- Cite this article as:
- Olshansky, B. Curr Treat Options Cardio Med (2005) 7: 371. doi:10.1007/s11936-005-0021-3
The safest long-term management strategy for elderly patients with persistent or recurrent episodes of atrial fibrillation (AF) is careful rate control with medications in conjunction with appropriate oral warfarin anticoagulation. Atrioventricular junctional ablation, with pacemaker implantation, may be necessary in patients who cannot have their rate controlled adequately, or have marked fluctuations in rate with standard medical therapies. Maintenance of sinus rhythm with repeat cardioversions, antiarrhythmic medications, device therapy, or atrial ablation approaches are appropriate to consider for younger patients and those elderly patients who suffer from substantial symptoms shown to be related directly to AF.