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Antithrombotic therapy in atrial fibrillation associated with valvular heart disease: a joint consensus document from the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Thrombosis



Antithrombotic therapy in atrial fibrillation associated with valvular heart disease: a joint consensus document from the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Thrombosis



Europace 19(11): 1757-1758



Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major worldwide public health problem, and AF in association with valvular heart disease (VHD) is also common. However, management strategies for this group of patients have been less informed by randomized trials, which have largely focused on 'non-valvular AF' patients. Thrombo-embolic risk also varies according to valve lesion and may also be associated with CHA2DS2VASc score risk factor components, rather than only the valve disease being causal. Given marked heterogeneity in the definition of valvular and non-valvular AF and variable management strategies, including non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in patients with VHD other than prosthetic heart valves or haemodynamically significant mitral valve disease, there is a need to provide expert recommendations for professionals participating in the care of patients presenting with AF and associated VHD. To address this topic, a Task Force was convened by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Thrombosis, with representation from the ESC Working Group on Valvular Heart Disease, Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), South African Heart (SA Heart) Association and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estimulación Cardíaca y Electrofisiología (SOLEACE) with the remit to comprehensively review the published evidence, and to publish a joint consensus document on the management of patients with AF and associated VHD, with up-to-date consensus recommendations for clinical practice for different forms of VHD. This consensus document proposes that the term 'valvular AF' is outdated and given that any definition ultimately relates to the evaluated practical use of oral anticoagulation (OAC) type, we propose a functional Evaluated Heartvalves, Rheumatic or Artificial (EHRA) categorization in relation to the type of OAC use in patients with AF, as follows: (i) EHRA Type 1 VHD, which refers to AF patients with 'VHD needing therapy with a Vitamin K antagonist (VKA); and (ii) EHRA Type 2 VHD, which refers to AF patients with 'VHD needing therapy with a VKA or a Non-VKA oral anticoagulant (NOAC)', also taking into consideration CHA2DS2VASc score risk factor components. This consensus document also summarizes current developments in the field, and provides general recommendations for the management of these patients based on the principles of evidence-based medicine.

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Accession: 059381680

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PMID: 29096024

DOI: 10.1093/europace/eux240


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