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New Guidelines Issued for Management of Atrial Fibrillation

New recommendations relate to new medications, use of radiofrequency ablation

New Guidelines Issued for Management of Atrial Fibrillation

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations have been developed for the optimum management of atrial fibrillation. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines have been published online March 28 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, and Heart Rhythm.

Craig T. January, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues reviewed the literature and existing guidelines to develop updated recommendations for the optimum management of atrial fibrillation.

The guidelines include four new recommendations. For patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, the CHA2DS2-VASc score should be calculated for assessment of stroke risk. The role of aspirin was reevaluated, as data indicating that aspirin diminishes stroke risk are weak. Recommendations are included for newly approved medications: dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban. The guideline also encourages use of radio frequency ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

"The goal is to have a document that is useful to the practicing physician and makes sense," January said in a statement. "The writing committee worked diligently to ensure that the data, tables, and figures were clear and easy to use."

Several authors and reviewers disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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