Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in the US population. AF occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals cause the atria (the two upper chambers of the heart) to “fibrillate”, or contract quickly and irregularly. This in turn causes some blood to pool in the atria rather than be pumped completely into the ventricles. AF can be asymptomatic but it may also be associated with several bothersome symptoms, including shortness of breath, difficulty with exercise, palpitations, general fatigue, dizziness, and confusion.
The New England CEPAC found evidence lacking for minimally invasive surgical ablation and catheter ablation prior to drug treatment.
Interventions of interest:
- Antiarrhythmic drugs (amiodarone, dronedarone)
- Catheter ablation
- Surgical ablation
Date of review: June 2011
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Below you will find the final documents from the assessment review process:
“The first public meeting of CEPAC represents a rare opportunity for practicing clinicians and public representatives to participate directly in helping provide guidance on how evidence should be interpreted and applied by payers and other policy makers. The report from CEPAC will also offer the medical research community recommendations and ideas for how to improve the future evidence base for treatments of patients with atrial fibrillation.”