The management of atrial fibrillation (AF) is among the most challenging aspects of cardiology and uncertainties abound concerning stroke assessment and stroke risk reduction. Currently, AF is viewed as a dichotomous variable (fully present or absent) when it comes to stroke risk; there is no regard to the amount of AF either spontaneously or due to rhythm control strategies. For this reason, monitoring in patients with a known AF history, particularly after ablation, has focused on easily measured outcomes such as time to recurrence. However, emerging data suggest that thresholds exist between stroke risk and AF quantity as measured by either duration or burden. As a result, there is an increasing interest in long-term continuous monitoring following a rhythm control strategy to assess efficacy beyond typical symptom reduction. Insertable cardiac monitors (ICMs) with AF-sensing algorithms and remote data transmission capabilities can be used for this purpose, and wearable devices with similar functions are on the horizon. In addition to their diagnostic potential, these tools are also being used therapeutically with efforts to target anticoagulation therapy only in response to AF episodes.
Copyright: © 2017 Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management.