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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained dysrhythmia encountered in clinical practice in North America and Europe, accounting for approximately one-third of all hospitalizations for a cardiac rhythm abnormality. The presence of AF markedly increases the patient's risk for developing arterial embolism and stroke, depending on the presence of other clinical conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. AF is associated with a fivefold increased risk for stroke, and is estimated to cause 15% of all strokes.
Patients with AF frequently have several risk factors for atherosclerosis, including hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Accordingly, systemic signs of atherosclerosis can be detected in AF patients, and these likely accounts for an enhanced risk of coronary heart disease. In addition to cerebro-vascular disease, patients with AF may suffer from coronary events including myocardial infarction (MI), but the rate of MI in AF patients seems to be variable, but often underestimated.
Moreover, coexistence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a relevant clinical sign of systemic atherosclerosis.
Ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive PAD measurement, even at the pre-symptomatic phase when intervention can improve prognosis and prevent or delay severe complications ABI is calculated by measuring the systolic blood pressure in the posterior tibial and/or the dorsalis pedis arteries either in both legs or 1 leg chosen at random (using a Doppler probe or alternative pulse sensor), with the lowest ankle pressure then divided by the brachial systolic blood pressure. In addition to peripheral artery disease, the ABI also is an indicator of generalized atherosclerosis because lower levels have been associated with higher rates of concomitant coronary and cerebrovascular disease, and with the presence of cardiovascular risk factors.
Two large studies in patients with AF document the existence of PAD in about 3-5% of patients. It is possible, however, that such an incidence has been underestimated as only symptomatic patients were considered as affected by PAD. As PAD is an important marker of systemic atherosclerosis, its association with AF reinforces the concept that patients with AF have systemic atherosclerosis that potentially account for coronary complications.
To date, a national registry of AF patients is not available to verify the real impact of cardiovascular events in this clinical setting.
Study design: Prospective longitudinal study
Methods and Materials: We planned to assess at baseline and at scheduled follow up visits :
1. Ankle-Brachial Index measurement
2. Anamnestic clinical information and Anthropometric measurements
3. echocardiogram (volume size), electrocardiogram (AF type)
4. Outcome events such as nonfatal or fatal acute myocardial infarction, target lesion or vessel revascularization nonfatal or fatal ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, death from any cardiac or vascular cause, death from any cause Study duration: 3 years follow-up Statistical methods: The prevalence will be calculated by exact confidence intervals (Wilson method). The cumulative incidence will be calculated by the product-limit estimator of Kaplan-Meyer and presented with confidence intervals at 95%. The incidences and prevalences will be then adjusted through appropriate multivariate analysis (using the Cox proportional hazards model and logistic model) that will take into account the effect of potential confounders. Similarly, the effect-center presence will be checked and possibly removed. Secondary endpoints will be assessed by using Log-rank test method, and by the Cox model (with time-dependent effects) multivariate analysis.
Subgroups analysis will be also conducted for patients with first onset of AF or recurrent AF Sample size: We plan to include in the study n = 3,000 patients, with competitive recruitment between centers involved in the study. The sample size was calculated assuming an expected prevalence of 19% at time zero, and in order to obtain a confidence interval 95% to prevail at time zero whose distance from the edge is less than or equal to 1.4%.
This sample size yields a power greater than 99.9% for the secondary endpoint, assuming an event rate of 19% for patients with ABI <= 0.9, and 10% for patients with ABI> 0.9
Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective
Sapienza - University of Rome and SIMI
University of Roma La Sapienza
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:16-0400
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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).
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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)
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