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      Atrial tachyarrhythmia in adult congenital heart disease


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          The adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) population continues to grow and most cardiologists, emergency room physicians and family doctors will intermittently come into contact with these patients. Oftentimes this may be in the setting of a presentation with atrial tachyarrhythmia; one of the commonest late complications of ACHD and problem with potentially serious implications. Providing appropriate initial care and ongoing management of atrial tachyarrhythmia in ACHD patients requires a degree of specialist knowledge and an awareness of certain key issues. In ACHD, atrial tachyarrhythmia is usually related to the abnormal anatomy of the underlying heart defect and often occurs as a result of surgical scar or a consequence of residual hemodynamic or electrical disturbances. Arrhythmias significantly increase mortality and morbidity in ACHD and are the most frequent reason for ACHD hospitalization. Intra-atrial reentrant tachycardia and atrial fibrillation are the most prevalent type of arrhythmia in this patient group. In hemodynamically unstable patients, urgent cardioversion is required. Acute management of the stable patient includes anticoagulation, rate control, and electrical or pharmacological cardioversion. In ACHD, rhythm control is the preferred management strategy and can often be achieved. However, in the long-term, medication side-effects can prove problematic. Electrophysiology studies and catheter ablation are important treatments modalities and in certain cases, surgical or percutaneous treatment of the underlying cardiac defect has a role. ACHD patients, especially those with complex CHD, are at increased risk of thromboembolic events and anticoagulation is usually required. Female ACHD patients of child bearing age may wish to pursue pregnancies. The risk of atrial arrhythmias is increased during pregnancy and management of atrial tachyarrhythmia during pregnancy needs specific consideration.

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          Congenital heart disease in the general population: changing prevalence and age distribution.

          Empirical data on the changing epidemiology of congenital heart disease (CHD) are scant. We determined the prevalence, age distribution, and proportion of adults and children with severe and other forms of CHD in the general population from 1985 to 2000. Where healthcare access is universal, we used administrative databases that systematically recorded all diagnoses and claims. Diagnostic codes conformed to the International Classification of Disease, ninth revision. Severe CHD was defined as tetralogy of Fallot, truncus arteriosus, transposition complexes, endocardial cushion defects, and univentricular heart. Prevalence of severe and other CHD lesions was determined in 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000 using population numbers in Quebec. Children were subjects <18 years of age. The prevalence was 4.09 per 1000 adults in the year 2000 for all CHD and 0.38 per 1000 (9%) for those with severe lesions. Female subjects accounted for 57% of the adult CHD population. The median age of all patients with severe CHD was 11 years (interquartile range, 4 to 22 years) in 1985 and 17 years (interquartile range, 10 to 28 years) in 2000 (P<0.0001). The prevalence of severe CHD increased from 1985 to 2000, but the increase in adults was significantly higher than that observed in children. In the year 2000, 49% of those alive with severe CHD were adults. The prevalence in adults and median age of patients with severe CHD increased in the general population from 1985 to 2000. In 2000, there were nearly equal numbers of adults and children with severe CHD.
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            Rhythm control versus rate control for atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

            It is common practice to restore and maintain sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure. This approach is based in part on data indicating that atrial fibrillation is a predictor of death in patients with heart failure and suggesting that the suppression of atrial fibrillation may favorably affect the outcome. However, the benefits and risks of this approach have not been adequately studied. We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial comparing the maintenance of sinus rhythm (rhythm control) with control of the ventricular rate (rate control) in patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less, symptoms of congestive heart failure, and a history of atrial fibrillation. The primary outcome was the time to death from cardiovascular causes. A total of 1376 patients were enrolled (682 in the rhythm-control group and 694 in the rate-control group) and were followed for a mean of 37 months. Of these patients, 182 (27%) in the rhythm-control group died from cardiovascular causes, as compared with 175 (25%) in the rate-control group (hazard ratio in the rhythm-control group, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.30; P=0.59 by the log-rank test). Secondary outcomes were similar in the two groups, including death from any cause (32% in the rhythm-control group and 33% in the rate-control group), stroke (3% and 4%, respectively), worsening heart failure (28% and 31%), and the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, stroke, or worsening heart failure (43% and 46%). There were also no significant differences favoring either strategy in any predefined subgroup. In patients with atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure, a routine strategy of rhythm control does not reduce the rate of death from cardiovascular causes, as compared with a rate-control strategy. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00597077.) 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              Task force 1: the changing profile of congenital heart disease in adult life.


                Author and article information

                World J Cardiol
                World Journal of Cardiology
                Baishideng Publishing Group Inc
                26 June 2017
                26 June 2017
                : 9
                : 6
                : 496-507
                Arsha Karbassi, Krishnakumar Nair, Louise Harris, Rachel M Wald, S Lucy Roche, Toronto Congenital Cardiac Center for Adults, Peter Munk Cardiac Center, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2N2, Canada
                S Lucy Roche, Division of Cardiology, 5N-521 Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 2N2, Canada
                Author notes

                Author contributions: Karbassi A contributed to literature review and first draft of the manuscript; Nair K revised the section related to electrophysiology study and ablation; Harris L reviewed the completed manuscript and provided content edits; Wald RM edited the section on arrhythmia in pregnancy; Roche SL conceived the idea, structured, revised and edited each version of the manuscript.

                Correspondence to: Dr. S Lucy Roche, Staff Cardiologist, Division of Cardiology, 5N-521 Toronto General Hospital, 585 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 2N2, Canada. lucy.roche@ 123456uhn.ca

                Telephone: +1-416-3403266 Fax: +1-415-3405014

                ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.

                This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial.


                congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, adult, ablation


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