Nav: Home

Discovery of atrial fibrillation subtypes paves way for precision medicine

March 15, 2019

Lisbon, Portugal - 15 March 2019: The discovery of subtypes of atrial fibrillation paves the way for individualised treatment. That's the main message from the joint EHRA/AFNET conference, where new data from the CATCH ME project will be presented, and a consensus reached on personalised medicine approaches to improve patient care.1

The meeting is being held on 15 and 16 March in Lisbon, Portugal. It is organised by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the Atrial Fibrillation NETwork (AFNET) with funding from the CATCH ME Consortium EU Horizon 2020 Grant.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). It causes 20-30% of all strokes and also increases the risk of heart failure and sudden death.2 Signs of atrial fibrillation include palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.3

Professor Paulus Kirchhof, one of the event organisers and chair of the 2016 ESC atrial fibrillation guidelines, said: "Atrial fibrillation remains one of the most common and most challenging conditions in cardiology. Patients have different profiles and medical problems related to atrial fibrillation. During the meeting we will review emerging data to discover patient profiles for precision medicine, enabling clinicians and researchers to better estimate who will benefit from current and emerging therapies."

Novel results from the CATCH ME project help define clinical types of atrial fibrillation based on the main cause and shed light on mechanisms of atrial fibrillation from gene expression analysis of human atrial tissue. The findings of these studies will be presented in full at the EHRA 2019 Congress.4,5 New information will also be presented on blood biomarkers for different types of atrial fibrillation, and on outcomes of atrial fibrillation patients who also have heart failure and in those who have a bleeding event.

The conference will be attended by around 80 leading scientists and clinicians in atrial fibrillation management and research, and industry partners. It will cover the entire spectrum of atrial fibrillation, from patterns of gene expression in atrial tissue (the "molecular signature"), to clinical types, patient management, healthcare systems, and patient education. This breadth will be reflected in a consensus paper. Among the statements set to be agreed are how to tailor the use of anticoagulation and rhythm control therapy to newly defined types of atrial fibrillation.

The meeting title is "Management of patients with atrial fibrillation: New therapies and special populations". In addition to the populations revealed by CATCH ME, these include patients with:
  • Bleeding on anticoagulation, for whom a left atrial appendage occluder may prevent stroke at lower bleeding risk
  • Concomitant heart failure, in whom there is controversy over the benefits of rhythm control therapy, particularly catheter ablation
  • End stage kidney disease, who have high stroke and bleeding risks
  • Very rare atrial arrhythmias detected by devices including smartwatches.
The current state of play on applications (apps) for diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation will be presented, as well as up-to-the-minute knowledge on how atrial fibrillation contributes to cognitive dysfunction and dementia following an EHRA consensus document published last year.6

EHRA President Professor Hein Heidbuchel, one of the event organisers, said: "There is a need for more personalised medicine for the diverse group of patients with atrial fibrillation. Luckily, science is moving quickly, and during this meeting world experts will convene to present data that allow further refinement of the diagnosis and treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation. Our goal is to better control symptoms and further reduce the risks of stroke and premature death for affected patients."
-end-
Authors: ESC Press Office
+33 (0)4 8987 2499
Email: press@escardio.org

Follow us on Twitter @ESCardioNews
The hashtag for the EHRA 2019 Congress is #ehra2019.

Sources of funding: The Characterising Atrial fibrillation by Translating its Causes into Health Modifiers in the Elderly (CATCH ME) Consortium EU Horizon 2020 Grant 633196.

Disclosures: None.

References and notes

1The 7th EHRA/AFNET Consensus Conference, "Management of patients with atrial fibrillation: New therapies and special populations", will be held in Lisbon, Portugal on 15 and 16 March 2019.

2Kirchhof P, Benussi S, Kotecha D, et al. 2016 ESC Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation developed in collaboration with EACTS. Eur Heart J. 2016;37:2893-2962. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehw210.

3Learn to recognise signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation: https://www.afibmatters.org/en_GB/Signs-and-symptoms.

4The abstract 'Development of a prognostic model for recurrent atrial fibrillation using individual patient data from 2429 patients with AF: preliminary results of the CATCH ME study' will be presented during the EHRA 2019 Congress session Moderated ePosters 10: clinical AF on Monday 18 March at 15:35 to 16:25 WET (GMT) in the Poster Area.

5The abstract 'Side-specific differences in atrial tissue expression are associated with atrial fibrillation and heart failure: the CATCH ME Consortium' will be presented during the EHRA 2019 Congress session Moderated ePosters 9: new basic arrhythmia insight from around the world on Monday 18 March at 10:05 to 10:55 WET (GMT) in the Poster Area.

6Dagres N, Chao TF, Fenelon G, et al. European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA)/Heart Rhythm Society (HRS)/Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS)/Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS) expert consensus on arrhythmias and cognitive function: what is the best practice? Europace. 2018;20:1399-1421. doi: 10.1093/europace/euy046.

About the European Heart Rhythm Association

The European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) is a branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Its aim is improving the quality of life and reducing sudden cardiac death by limiting the impact of heart rhythm disturbances. EHRA ensures the dissemination of knowledge and standard setting; provides continuous education, training and certification to physicians and allied professionals involved in the field of cardiac arrhythmias with a special focus on Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Electrophysiology (EP). EHRA releases international consensus documents and position papers, it is a source of high quality, unbiased, evidence based, scientific information that promotes the quality of care for patients with AF, and for, has also dedicated a website for patients "afibmatters.org". #EHRA

About the EHRA Congress

EHRA 2019 is the annual congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

Information for journalists attending EHRA 2019

EHRA 2019 will be held 17 to 19 March at the Lisbon Congress Centre (CCL) in Lisbon, Portugal. Explore the scientific programme.
  • To register on-site please bring a valid press card or appropriate letter of assignment with proof of three recent published articles (cardiology or health-related, or referring to a previous ESC Event).
  • Press registration is not available to industry or its public relations representatives, event management, marketing or communications representatives.


European Society of Cardiology

Related Heart Failure Articles:

Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke: COVID-19's dangerous cardiovascular complications
A new guide from emergency medicine doctors details the potentially deadly cardiovascular complications COVID-19 can cause.
Autoimmunity-associated heart dilation tied to heart-failure risk in type 1 diabetes
In people with type 1 diabetes without known cardiovascular disease, the presence of autoantibodies against heart muscle proteins was associated with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging evidence of increased volume of the left ventricle (the heart's main pumping chamber), increased muscle mass, and reduced pumping function (ejection fraction), features that are associated with higher risk of failure in the general population
Transcendental Meditation prevents abnormal enlargement of the heart, reduces chronic heart failure
A randomized controlled study recently published in the Hypertension issue of Ethnicity & Disease found the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique helps prevent abnormal enlargement of the heart compared to health education (HE) controls.
Beta blocker use identified as hospitalization risk factor in 'stiff heart' heart failure
A new study links the use of beta-blockers to heart failure hospitalizations among those with the common 'stiff heart' heart failure subtype.
Type 2 diabetes may affect heart structure and increase complications and death among heart failure patients of Asian ethnicity
The combination of heart failure and Type 2 diabetes can lead to structural changes in the heart, poorer quality of life and increased risk of death, according to a multi-country study in Asia.
Preventive drug therapy may increase right-sided heart failure risk in patients who receive heart devices
Patients treated preemptively with drugs to reduce the risk of right-sided heart failure after heart device implantation may experience the opposite effect and develop heart failure and post-operative bleeding more often than patients not receiving the drugs.
How the enzyme lipoxygenase drives heart failure after heart attacks
Heart failure after a heart attack is a global epidemic leading to heart failure pathology.
Novel heart pump shows superior outcomes in advanced heart failure
Severely ill patients with advanced heart failure who received a novel heart pump -- the HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device (LVAD) -- suffered significantly fewer strokes, pump-related blood clots and bleeding episodes after two years, compared with similar patients who received an older, more established pump, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session.
NSAID impairs immune response in heart failure, worsens heart and kidney damage
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are widely known as pain-killers and can relieve pain and inflammation.
Heart cell defect identified as possible cause of heart failure in pregnancy
A new Tel Aviv University study reveals that one of the possible primary causes of heart failure in pregnant women is a functional heart cell defect.
More Heart Failure News and Heart Failure Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Processing The Pandemic
Between the pandemic and America's reckoning with racism and police brutality, many of us are anxious, angry, and depressed. This hour, TED Fellow and writer Laurel Braitman helps us process it all.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Invisible Allies
As scientists have been scrambling to find new and better ways to treat covid-19, they've come across some unexpected allies. Invisible and primordial, these protectors have been with us all along. And they just might help us to better weather this viral storm. To kick things off, we travel through time from a homeless shelter to a military hospital, pondering the pandemic-fighting power of the sun. And then, we dive deep into the periodic table to look at how a simple element might actually be a microbe's biggest foe. This episode was reported by Simon Adler and Molly Webster, and produced by Annie McEwen and Pat Walters. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.