Canadian Cardiovascular Society updates atrial fibrillation guidelines

Canadian physicians now have an updated set of guidelines for managing patients suffering from atrial fibrillation (AF).

The Canadian Journal of Cardiology released the 2016 Focused Update to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s (CCS) guidelines on AF. An important change involves patients who suffer from coronary artery disease in addition to AF. Non-vitamin K antagonists oral anticoagulants are the preferred treatment over warfarin.

"The development of guidelines has been a key activity of the CCS for over a decade," co-chairs Laurent Macle, MD, of the Montreal Heart Institute, Université de Montréal, and Atul Verma MD, of the Southlake Regional Health Centre. "Well-developed guidelines have the potential to improve the quality of cardiovascular care, lead to better patient outcomes, improve cost-effectiveness, and highlight areas for further research."

The original guidelines were developed back in 2010 by the CCS and are reviewed every two years. This Focused Update makes specific recommendations based on a patient’s risk of stroke.

For example, in patients with AF with an indication for primary CAD prevention or stable CAD or arterial vascular disease, the selection of antithrombotic therapy should be based on his risk of stroke.

An updated summary of all CCS AF Guidelines recommendations, from 2010 to the present 2016 Focused Update, are provided in an online supplement.