Treatment approach for atrial fibrillation: rate control or rhythm control?

The treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) is chosen individually for each patient taking into consideration the symptoms, co-existing illnesses, the risk factors of thromboembolic complications, the duration of the arrhythmia and the anticipated benefits and risks of the treatment. The choice of treatment may only be made after a careful assessment of the patient (table ). Regardless of the treatment approach chosen, management must also include the elimination of factors that provoke or trigger the arrhythmia as well as the correct management of any underlying illnesses.