Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Hypertension and atrial fibrillation: a bench to bedside perspective
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice and its prevalence increases markedly with advancing age, worldwide. Almost every primary care physician, internist, or cardiologist, has dealt with stroke or with other complications of AF. Still, its management remains a hot issue for clinicians and the debate over which treatment strategy is the best is ongoing. Moreover, AF increases significantly the total cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. Despite a great bulk of data in the existing medical literature, the pathophysiology of AF in patients with hypertensive heart disease (HHD) is poorly understood, and the underlying signaling pathways linking hypertension (HTN) to AF remain to be fully elucidated. The scope of this article is to discuss the myocardial anatomical and physiological alterations that occur in HTN, and highlight the proposed electrophysiological mechanisms that cause the hypertensive heart to fibrillate. In addition, we will focus on the latest ESC 2016 guidelines for the risk stratification of AF patients as a tool to guide anticoagulation which represents the mainstay of treatment for AF. Last, the other therapeutic approaches for hypertensives with AF currently adopted for optimal patient management will be reviewed.