Anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation : The future has begun.
Summary of "Anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation : The future has begun."
According to new criteria based on the CHAD(2)DS(2)-VASc score, the threshold for administering anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation patients is being increasingly lowered. With the development of new anticoagulants, more therapy options are available. Currently, vitamin K antagonists are still the standard treatment. However, this therapy is problematic for some patients. Because of the increased bleeding risk and need for continuous blood tests to monitor coagulation, many patients needing anticoagulation therapy are not treated. The new anticoagulants apixaban, rivaroxaban and dabigatran were developed with the goal of avoiding these problems. Dabigatran has already been approved for thromboembolism prophylaxis for patients with atrial fibrillation. All three substances do not require routine control blood tests. Whether the costs saved by this together with the prevention of ischemic and bleeding events justify the higher price of these drugs compared to vitamin K antagonists needs to be examined by socioeconomic studies.
Innere Medizin III (Kardiologie und Angiologie), Universitätsklinik Freiburg, Hugstetter Straße 55, 79106, Freiburg, Deutschland, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Der Internist
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22146937
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00108-011-2983-4
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.
Atrial Premature Complexes
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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