Atrial fibrillation: Cure or treat?

Giovanni B. Forleo, Claudio Tondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Controversies exist with regard to the optimal management of atrial fibrillation (AF). Restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm is a desirable goal in AF patients because the prevention of recurrences may improve cardiac function, relieve symptoms and should reduce the likelihood of adverse events. Pharmacological therapy for AF has been disappointing with unacceptable rates of AF recurrence and other proarrhythmic sequelae. Recent studies suggested that potential benefit of sinus-rhythm maintenance with respect to mortality may have been neutralized by harmful effects of currently available antiarrhythmic therapies. Because of the inefficacy and dangers with nonablative therapies currently available for maintaining sinus rhythm, alternative treatments are certainly desirable. Curative treatment of atrial fibrillation with catheter ablation is now a legitimate option for a large number of patients. In several studies AF ablation has consistently been demonstrated to be superior to antiarrhythmic medications for the maintenance of sinus rhythm. Nevertheless, many aspects of the therapy are still controversial and large-scale prospective studies are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Antiarrhythmic medications
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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