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Impact of Atrial Fibrillation on Coronary Blood Flow: A Systematic Review


Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) frequently present with symptoms suggestive of myocardial ischaemia, even in the absence of significant CAD, that seem to be attributable to abnormalities of myocardial perfusion and perfusion reserve. According to the results of recent human and previous experimental studies the increase in coronary artery blood flow during AF is smaller, while the coronary vascular resistance during the arrhythmia does not decrease as much as we would expect, suggesting a mismatch between coronary blood flow and myocardial metabolic demand. AF itself diminishes coronary flow reserve, especially in the subendocardial layer, partly as a result of the increase in the myocardial component of coronary vascular resistance, and it is possible that irregular ventricular rhythm may play an important role. The mismatch of coronary blood flow and myocardial metabolic demand, especially in view of the severe reduction in coronary flow reserve, may have deleterious consequences that are not limited to patients with CAD

Credits: George E. Kochiadakis MD; Eleftherios M. Kallergis MD

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Introduction to AFib
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