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The Relationship Between Atrial Fibrillation and Chronic Venous Disease

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    By Katherine Kozlowski, medical author and contributor to VeinsVeinsVeins.com

    Based on previous research, it is known that the atrium plays a part in venous blood flow from the lower extremities. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between both chronic and acute atrial fibrillation (AF) and chronic venous disease.




    392 patients were included in the study.

    218 (56%) patients had chronic atrial fibrillation.

    174 (44%) patients had non-chronic atrial fibrillation.




    Patients with chronic atrial fibrillation had higher rates of venous reflux on Doppler ultrasound (back flow of blood due to dysfunctional venous valves).

    72% of patients with chronic AF, and 47% of patients with non-chronic AF had CEAP Classifications C0-C2. (p<.001; C0=no venous disease; C1=reticular veins; C2=varicose veins)


    28% of patients with chronic AF, and 53% of patients with non-chronic AF had CEAP Classifications C3-C6. (p<.001; C3=Swelling; C4=hyperpigmentation/discoloration; C5=healed venous ulcer; C6=active venous ulcer)


    Duration of time having atrial fibrillation had a direct impact on both right atrial volume index and CEAP classification.




    There is a higher incidence of chronic venous disease in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation.


    Atrial volume has a direct relationship with chronic venous disease.


    Emren Z, Emren S, Ada F et al. Association between lower extremity venous insufficiency and duration of atrial fibrillation. Phlebology 2021; 36(7):570-575.