Because of demographic aging, the prevalence of arterial hypertension (HTN) and cardiac arrhythmias, namely atrial fibrillation (AF), is progressively increasing. Not only are these clinical entities strongly connected, but, acting with a synergistic effect, their association may cause a worse clinical outcome in patients already at risk of ischemic and/or haemorrhagic stroke and, consequently, disability and death. Despite the well-known association between HTN and AF, several pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the higher risk of AF in hypertensive patients are still incompletely known. Although several trials reported the overall clinical benefit of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone inhibitors in reducing incident AF in HTN, the role of this class of drugs is greatly reduced when AF diagnosis is already established, thus hinting at the urgent need for primary prevention measures to reduce AF occurrence in these patients. Through a thorough review of the available literature in the field, we investigated the basic mechanisms through which HTN is believed to promote AF, summarising the evidence supporting a pathophysiology-driven approach to prevent this arrhythmia in hypertensive patients, including those suffering from primary aldosteronism, a non-negligible and under-recognised cause of secondary HTN. Finally, in the hazy scenario of AF screening in hypertensive patients, we reviewed which patients should be screened, by which modality, and who should be offered oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention.

Hypertension and Arrhythmias: A Clinical Overview of the Pathophysiology-Driven Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias in Hypertensive Patients

Marazzato, Jacopo
Primo
;
Blasi, Federico
Secondo
;
Golino, Michele;Angeli, Fabio
Penultimo
;
De Ponti, Roberto
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Because of demographic aging, the prevalence of arterial hypertension (HTN) and cardiac arrhythmias, namely atrial fibrillation (AF), is progressively increasing. Not only are these clinical entities strongly connected, but, acting with a synergistic effect, their association may cause a worse clinical outcome in patients already at risk of ischemic and/or haemorrhagic stroke and, consequently, disability and death. Despite the well-known association between HTN and AF, several pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the higher risk of AF in hypertensive patients are still incompletely known. Although several trials reported the overall clinical benefit of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone inhibitors in reducing incident AF in HTN, the role of this class of drugs is greatly reduced when AF diagnosis is already established, thus hinting at the urgent need for primary prevention measures to reduce AF occurrence in these patients. Through a thorough review of the available literature in the field, we investigated the basic mechanisms through which HTN is believed to promote AF, summarising the evidence supporting a pathophysiology-driven approach to prevent this arrhythmia in hypertensive patients, including those suffering from primary aldosteronism, a non-negligible and under-recognised cause of secondary HTN. Finally, in the hazy scenario of AF screening in hypertensive patients, we reviewed which patients should be screened, by which modality, and who should be offered oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention.
2022
2022
anticoagulants; antihypertensive agents; artificial pacemakers; atrial fibrillation; hypertension; primary hyperaldosteronism
Marazzato, Jacopo; Blasi, Federico; Golino, Michele; Verdecchia, Paolo; Angeli, Fabio; De Ponti, Roberto
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2146353
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