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Anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation - A new era has begun.

Summary of "Anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation - A new era has begun."

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most frequent reasons for therapeutic anticoagulation in everyday practice. Oral vitamin K antagonists such as Marcumar have been state of the art anticoagulants to prevent thrombembolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation and additional risk factors. But these drugs are accompanied by disadvantages such as increased bleeding risk and impaired quality of life caused by interactions with food or other medications as well as frequent controls of INRs. The new anticoagulants apixaban, rivaroxaban and dabigatran are direct antagonists of coagulation factors (FXa or FIIa) and demonstrate a promising risk/benefit profile in large clinical trials compared with vitamin K antagonists. Their approval for clinical use will open up new therapeutic perspectives for patients with atrial fibrillation and indication for anticoagulation.

Affiliation

Prof. Dr. Martin Moser, Universitätsklinik Freiburg, Innere Medizin III (Kardiologie und Angiologie), Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106 Freiburg.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Hamostaseologie
ISSN: 0720-9355
Pages:

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Rapid, irregular atrial contractions caused by a block of electrical impulse conduction in the right atrium and a reentrant wave front traveling up the inter-atrial septum and down the right atrial free wall or vice versa. Unlike ATRIAL FIBRILLATION which is caused by abnormal impulse generation, typical atrial flutter is caused by abnormal impulse conduction. As in atrial fibrillation, patients with atrial flutter cannot effectively pump blood into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES).

A cardiotonic glycoside obtained mainly from Digitalis lanata; it consists of three sugars and the aglycone DIGOXIGENIN. Digoxin has positive inotropic and negative chronotropic activity. It is used to control ventricular rate in ATRIAL FIBRILLATION and in the management of congestive heart failure with atrial fibrillation. Its use in congestive heart failure and sinus rhythm is less certain. The margin between toxic and therapeutic doses is small. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p666)

An anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. Warfarin is indicated for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation with embolization. It is also used as an adjunct in the prophylaxis of systemic embolism after myocardial infarction. Warfarin is also used as a rodenticide.

A type of cardiac arrhythmia with premature atrial contractions or beats caused by signals originating from ectopic atrial sites. The ectopic signals may or may not conduct to the HEART VENTRICLES. Atrial premature complexes are characterized by premature P waves on ECG which are different in configuration from the P waves generated by the normal pacemaker complex in the SINOATRIAL NODE.

Abnormal cardiac rhythm that is characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (HEART ATRIA). In such case, blood cannot be effectively pumped into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES). It is caused by abnormal impulse generation.

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