Relationship between peripheral artery disease and permanent atrial fibrillation

Neringa Taparauskaitė1, Edita Mašanauskienė1, Edita Taparauskienė1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine


Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a prevalent arrhythmia which increases the risk of ischaemic stroke, heart failure and death from cardiovascular causes. In order to evaluate and reduce the risk of thromboembolic complications and heart failure for AFib patients, diagnosis and treatment of concomitant diseases is essential. One of these diseases is peripheral artery disease (PAD). According to various studies PAD can increase the risk of AFib or AFib can be associated with increased risk of PAD. The purpose of this study was to determine the relation of PAD and permanent AFib. Participants of the study were divided into two groups: patients with permanent AFib (95 patients) and patients in sinus rhythm (85 patients). PAD was diagnosed when ankle-brachial index (ABI) was < 0.9. PAD was diagnosed more frequently in permanent AFib group than sinus rhythm group (47 patients (49.5%) with PAD in AFib group and 28 patients (32.9%) in sinus rhythm group). Patients with permanent AFib had lower mean ABI (p=0.013). Patients with PAD were diagnosed with ischaemic heart disease more often (p=0.02). In AFib group mild PAD was present in 14 patients (29.8%), moderate – 26 patients (55.3%), severe – 7 patients (14.9%) while in SR group there were 15 patients (53.6%) with mild, 10 patients (35.7%)  with moderate and 3 patients (10.7%) with severe PAD. There was no significant difference in the presence of clinical symptoms in permanent AFib and sinus rhythm group.

Keywords: peripheral artery disease, atrial fibrillation, ankle-brachial index.