Platelet Activation after Radiofrequency Ablation in Atrial Fibrillation: Is There Any Clinical Implication?
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in the general population and in patients undergoing cardiac surgery1. AF is a self-perpetuating arrhythmia which is facilitated by structural and functional changes elicited by atrial high rate activity. Shortening of atrial effective refractory period is the earliest functional change that characterizes atrial remodeling2. As prevalence of AF increases with advancing age, its social impact is becoming very relevant because of the associated high risk of cardiovascular events and increased morbidity and mortality. AF is complicated by stroke of thrombo-embolic origin, which is thought to stem from thrombus formation, generated in the left atrial appendage with ensuing embolism in the cerebral circulation. However, AF patients may also suffer from cardiovascular events which occur as a consequence of the atherosclerotic disease. Thus, AF is typically associated with different risk factors of athero-thrombosis including hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia and with systemic signs of atherosclerosis. This has been documented in the thoracic aorta and, more recently, in the peripheral circulation1.
- Received October 31, 2013.
- Accepted November 1, 2013.