Heart Rate Control in Non-Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. A New Indication for Ivabradine?

Giuseppe Caminiti, Filomena Cacciapuoti, Chiara Fossati, Daniela Battaglia, Noemi Punzo, Maurizio Volterrani

Abstract


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with poor quality of life and high rate of hospitalization in elderly frail patients. In patients with non-paroxysmal AF, optimizing heart rate is often the main goal but available drugs fail to reach heart rate control in about 30% of cases and this often happens because their doses can not be implemented due to side effects. Ivabradine is a pure heart rate lowering agent acting through the inhibition of If current in the sinus atrial cells, and it is widely used for patients with stable angina and chronic heart failure in sinus rhythm. According to very preliminary data, ivabradine shows heart rate lowering proprieties in non-paroxysmal AF when used alone or in association to other heart rate lowering drugs. Interestingly, studies suggest that this seems to translate into clinical benefits such as improvement of exercise tolerance and ejection fraction. However, new trials are needed to confirm the effectiveness and safety of ivabradine in non-paroxysmal AF.

Keywords


Ivabradine; Atrial fibrillation; Heart rate control; Exercise tolerance

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