Atrial fibrillation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Laurent Fauchier
  • S Ben Freedman
  • Isabelle van Gelder
  • Andrea Natale
  • Carola Gianni
  • Stanley Nattel
  • Tatjana S. Potpara
  • Michel Rienstra
  • Hung Fat Tse

Colleges, School and Institutes


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac rhythm disorder, and increases in prevalence with increasing age and the number of cardiovascular comorbidities. AF is characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat that can be asymptomatic or lead to symptoms such as palpitations, dyspnoea and dizziness. The condition can also be associated with serious complications, including an increased risk of stroke. Important recent developments in the clinical epidemiology and management of AF have informed our approach to this arrhythmia. This Primer provides a comprehensive overview of AF, including its epidemiology, mechanisms and pathophysiology, diagnosis, screening, prevention and management. Management strategies, including stroke prevention, rate control and rhythm control, are considered. We also address quality of life issues and provide an outlook on future developments and ongoing clinical trials in managing this common arrhythmia.


Original languageEnglish
Article number16016
JournalNature Reviews Disease Primers
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016