Table 4

Definitions of AF: A Simplified Scheme

Paroxysmal AF
  • AF that terminates spontaneously or with intervention within 7 d of onset.

  • Episodes may recur with variable frequency.

Persistent AF
  • Continuous AF that is sustained >7 d.

Long-standing persistent AF
  • Continuous AF >12 mo in duration.

Permanent AF
  • The term “permanent AF” is used when the patient and clinician make a joint decision to stop further attempts to restore and/or maintain sinus rhythm.

  • Acceptance of AF represents a therapeutic attitude on the part of the patient and clinician rather than an inherent pathophysiological attribute of AF.

  • Acceptance of AF may change as symptoms, efficacy of therapeutic interventions, and patient and clinician preferences evolve.

Nonvalvular AF
  • AF in the absence of rheumatic mitral stenosis, a mechanical or bioprosthetic heart valve, or mitral valve repair.

AF indicates atrial fibrillation.