Management of new onset atrial fibrillation

McNamara RL, Bass EB, Miller MR, Segal JB, Goodman SN, Kim NL, Robinson KA, Powe NR
Record ID 31999008022
Authors' objectives:

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia physicians face in clinical practice, with an incidence of up to 2.3% per year and a prevalence of almost 9% in those aged 80-89 years. In addition to having various symptoms, patients with AF have increased risk for stroke and death. This report synthesizes the available evidence on strategies for handling each of the following key aspects in the management of patients with new onset AF: electrical cardioversion and pharmacological conversion, mantenance of sinus rhythm, ventricular rate conrol, stroke prevention, outpatient management and echocardiography.

Authors' recomendations: Several medications were efficacious in conversion of AF and subsequent maintenance of sinus rhythm. Calcium-channel blockers and beta-blockers were more efficacious than digoxin in controlling ventricular rate during exercise in subjects with AF. Although subjects on warfarin had higher rates of bleeds, warfarin generally was more efficacious than aspirin in preventing stroke in subjects with AF. One attempt of electrical cardioversion with subsequent pharmacological maintenance is cost-effective compared with antithrombotic therapy alone.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Atrial Fibrillation
Organisation Name: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Contact Address: Center for Outcomes and Evidence Technology Assessment Program, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. Tel: +1 301 427 1610; Fax: +1 301 427 1639;
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.