Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart arrhythmia and is associated with poor outcomes. The adverse effects of AF are mediated through multiple pathways, including endothelial dysfunction, as measured by flow-mediated dilatation. Flow-mediated dilatation has demonstrated endothelial dysfunction in several conditions and is associated with poor outcomes including mortality, yet can be improved with medical therapy. It is thus a useful tool in assessing endothelial function in patients. Endothelial dysfunction is present in patients with AF and is associated with poor outcomes. These patients are generally older and have other co-morbidities such as hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and diabetes. The precise process by which AF is affiliated with endothelial damage/dysfunction remains elusive. This review explores the endothelial structure, its physiology and how it is affected in patients with AF. It also assesses the utility of flow mediated dilatation as a technique to assess endothelial function in patients with AF. Key MessagesEndothelial function is affected in patients with atrial fibrillation as with other cardiovascular conditions.Endothelial dysfunction is associated with poor outcomes such as stroke, myocardial infarction and death, yet is a reversible condition.Flow-mediated dilatation is a reliable tool to assess endothelial function in patients with atrial fibrillation.Patients with atrial fibrillation should be considered for endothelial function assessment and attempts made to reverse this condition.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Annals of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Jan 2020|