How should rate control be monitored in patients with atrial fibrillation (Afib)?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Effectiveness of rate control should be assessed both at rest and with exertion, especially in patients who experience primarily exertional AF-related symptoms. Twenty-four hour Holter monitoring or exercise-treadmill testing can be helpful in evaluating heart rate variability.

Adequate rate control was previously defined as a heart rate of 60-80 bpm at rest and 90-115 bpm with moderate exercise. However, the ACC/AHA/HRS guidelines on the management of AF now advise that there is no benefit in achieving strict heart rate control (< 80 bpm at rest, < 110 bpm after a 6-minute walk) relative to more lenient rate control (< 110 bpm at rest). Strict rate control in patients with stable ventricular function is no longer recommended. [1]

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