Atrial Fibrillation in Cancer

  • Dimitrios Farmakis
  • George Papingiotis
  • Gerasimos Filippatos
  • Annamaria Bonelli
  • Nicola MaureaEmail author
Part of the Current Clinical Pathology book series (CCPATH)


Advances in cancer therapy have led to a significant improvement of survival in most types of malignancies over the past few decades. As a result, there is a growing population of cancer survivors, expected to reach 18 million people in 2030 in the USA and a similar number in Europe. Interestingly, cancer survivor studies have shown that although about half of these patients eventually die of cancer, one-third of them actually die of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular complications in patients with cancer result from the interaction of three main factors: cancer therapy that may confer cardiac or vascular toxicity, cancer itself that may affect the heart directly and mainly indirectly, and the underlying cardiovascular status of patients in terms of coexistent heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors. The cardiovascular spectrum of cancer patients is quite wide, comprising practically every form of cardiac or vascular disease. Arrhythmias represent a significant part of this spectrum, and atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the main arrhythmias occurring in cancer patients.

Several studies have documented the relationship between cancer and AF. In terms of epidemiology, AF in cancer could be divided into two forms according to whether it occurs during the perioperative period of cancer surgery (perioperative AF) or not.


Atrial fibrillation Arrhythmias Cancer Cardiotoxicity Anticancer drugs NOAC Anticoagulation Target therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitrios Farmakis
    • 1
  • George Papingiotis
    • 1
  • Gerasimos Filippatos
    • 1
  • Annamaria Bonelli
    • 2
  • Nicola Maurea
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, Cardio-Oncology Clinic, Heart Failure UnitAttikon University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Division of CardiologyIstituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS - Fondazione G. PascaleNaplesItaly

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