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Atrial fibrillation: clinical review


Content developed by MIMS Learning


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, affecting around 2.5% of the population, and this is set to rise to 3% by 2050 as the population ages. More than 10% of people aged over 80 years are affected in the UK. Apart from causing symptoms such as breathlessness and palpitations, its main importance is its association with increased thromboembolic stroke risk. This clinical review examines the diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation. Key learning points include making the diagnosis, managing rate control, rhythm control and reduction in stroke risk in patients with AF, prognosis and follow-up.


After completing this module, you should be better able to: 

  • Understand which patients are at risk of AF
  • Make a diagnosis of AF
  • Manage rate control, rhythm control and reduction in stroke risk in patients with AF


Dr Andrew Money-Kyrle, Consultant cardiologist, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust; updated in 2017 by Dr Raj Thakkar

GP and cardiac lead for the Oxford Academic Health Science Network

This resource is provided at an intermediate level by MIMS Learning. Read the article and reflect on what you have learned, then answer the test questions at the end.

Complete the resource to obtain a certificate of completion to include in your revalidation portfolio. You should record the time spent on this resource in your CPD log.


Understanding cardiac arrhythmias Joanne Loades, September 2018