Inflammatory bowel disease and atrial fibrillation: a contemporary overview

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol.?2023 Jul 1;35(7):695-701.doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000002562.?Epub 2023 May 8. 


Christos S Konstantinou?1,?Panagiotis Korantzopoulos?1,?Fotios S Fousekis?2,?Konstantinos H Katsanos?2 


Author information

1First Department of Cardiology. 

2Department of Gastroenterology, University of Ioannina Faculty of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece. 


Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice and it is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Atrial fibrillation is linked with inflammatory signaling while inflammation and oxidative stress promote atrial remodeling promoting the development and perpetuation of the arrhythmia. On the other hand, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is considered a chronic inflammatory condition with flares and remissions. IBD has been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease but its relationship with atrial fibrillation has not been studied well. Recent epidemiological evidence indicates an association between IBD and atrial fibrillation, especially during flares/hospitalizations. This brief review provides a concise overview of all available data regarding the association between IBD and atrial fibrillation including the predictive role of electrocardiographic and echocardiographic markers. Several unresolved issues including the thromboembolic risk in this setting and the potential role of antiinflammatory interventions are also discussed. 

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