Trending Clinical Topics for August 2018

Ryan Syrek

Disclosures

August 31, 2018

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (August 11-17): Atrial Fibrillation

An important statement about screening, as well as several revealing studies, led to this week's trending clinical topic. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a final statement concluding that evidence is insufficient to warrant screening for atrial fibrillation in asymptomatic adults. The recommendation was made after the USPSTF performed a detailed review of available evidence on screening for previously undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, along with the benefits and harms of stroke prevention. In regard to diagnosing the condition, a new study found that using a home-based, wearable ECG sensor patch for continuous cardiac monitoring may aid in early detection among high-risk patients. The results showed that asymptomatic atrial fibrillation can be easily detected using a self-applied ECG patch. This is welcome news, as a separate study determined that atrial fibrillation is associated with a higher risk for ischemic stroke than atrial flutter. In that study, patients with atrial fibrillation also had a higher risk for heart failure hospitalization and all-cause mortality compared with patients with atrial flutter and control participants. Given that an estimated 2.7-6.1 million Americans have atrial fibrillation—and that number is expected to rise—this week's top search term is likely to stay popular for quite some time.

For more information on atrial fibrillation, read here.

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