Atrial Fibrillation and Acute Myocardial Infarction – an Inflammation-mediated Association

DOI: 10.2478/jce-2018-0020


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly widespread healthcare problem. AF can frequently present as a complication in acute coronary syndromes (ACS), especially in ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction (AMI), in which case it is the most frequent supraventricular rhythm disturbance with an estimated incidence of 6.8–21%. The presence of AF in ACS heralds worse outcomes in comparison to subjects in sinus rhythm, and several studies have shown that in AMI patients, both new-onset and pre-existing AF are associated with a higher risk of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events during hospitalization. The cause of new- onset AF in AMI is multifactorial. Although still incompletely understood, the mechanisms involved in the development of AF in acute myocardial ischemic events include the neuro- hormonal activation of the sympathetic nervous system that accompanies the AMI, ischemic involvement of the atrial myocytes, ventricular dysfunction, and atrial overload. The identi- fication of patients at risk for AF is of great significance as it may lead to prompt therapeutic interventions and closer follow-up, thus improving prognosis and decreasing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. The present manuscript aims to summarize the current research findings related to new-onset AF in AMI patients, as well as the predictors and prognostic impact of this comorbid association.