The Heart Rhythm Society convened a research symposium on December 9–10, 2013, in Washington, DC, that focused on the prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF) as well as AF-related stroke and morbidity.Attendees sought to summarize advances in understanding AF since a 2008 National Institutes of Health(NIH) conference on this topic and to identify continued knowledge gaps and current research priorities. This resultant whitepaper was developed in collaboration with and endorsed by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society (CHRS).
The research symposium also sought to identify key deficiencies and opportunities in research infrastructure, operations, and methodologies. The committee sought to identify both basic research targets and how clinical AF research could be improved in the current healthcare environment. It summarizes the deliberations of the attendees in an effort to accelerate progress toward preventing AF and its consequences.
There is currently no consensus-derived list of top priorities for research in AF nor a systematic portfolio analysis focused on benefit to patients or providers. This manuscript seeks to begin to address these gaps.