Cardiovascular Outcomes With an Early Rhythm Control Strateg
In practice, atrial fibrillation (AF) is typically managed by controlling ventricular rate given similar long-term outcomes and a more tolerable drug profile when compared to rhythm control. However, despite treatment via rate control, patients remain at increased risk for cardiovascular complications. This systematic review provides a summary of literature evaluating the effectiveness of early rhythm control (ERC, initiated within 2 years of diagnosis) in AF in reducing cardiovascular complications. A systematic review utilizing the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was performed to identify literature evaluating effectiveness of rhythm control strategies and cardiovascular complication reduction rates in ERC. A total of three literature articles meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria were included for evaluating the benefit of ERC. One of these examined was a trial that directly compared antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) versus catheter ablation (CA) therapy in maintenance of sinus rhythm (SR). This systematic review shows that ERC is associated with a reduction of cardiovascular events in AF patients compared to other treatment strategies.