Rhythm or rate control for AF
Two different strategies used for controlling atrial fibrillation (AF) appear to be similar, according to study results presented at the 21st Congress of the European Society of Cardiology [ Barcelona, Spain; August-September 1999 ]. The PIAF * trial directly compared long-term ventricular rate control using diltiazem, with that of cardioversion and subsequent maintenance of sinus rhythm using amiodarone, in patients with persistent AF. The PIAF trial is the first prospective trial to compare the 2 strategies. However, it was acknowledged that a larger trial, designed to compare the effects of these 2 strategies on prognosis, is required. It so happens that such a trial, called AFFIRM * , is currently underway.