Atrial fibrillation and cardiac resynchronization therapy

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Atrial fibrillation and heart failure are commonly encountered in current clinical practice. This review aims to revisit the complex interaction of these two common situations and the best treatment whenever both occurs, especially focusing on heart failure patients undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Recent findings

It has been recently confirmed that in patients undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy, 100% biventricular pacing percentage should be pursued. Large observational studies confirmed that atrioventricular junction ablation is very often the only way to gain 100% biventricular pacing in atrial fibrillation.

Summary

On the basis of the recent observational extensive data, in patients presenting intermediate or elevated atrial tachycardia–atrial fibrillation burden, atrioventricular junction ablation may represent a fundamental tool to achieve full CRT delivery, thus, conferring marked improvements in global cardiac function, and by extension, in survival. Atrial fibrillation patients should not be excluded from CRT, provided that maximal biventricular pacing is warranted.

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