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Implementation of a screening and management pathway for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in patients with atrial fibrillation

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Aims Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) negatively impacts the efficacy of heart rhythm control treatments in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Although COPD is recognized as a risk factor for AF, practical guidance about how and when to screen for COPD is not available. Herein, we describe the implementation of an integrated screening and management pathway for COPD into the existing pre-ablation work-up in an AF outpatient clinic infrastructure. Methods and results Consecutive unselected patients accepted for AF catheter ablation in the Maastricht University Medical Center+ were prospectively screened for airflow limitation using handheld (micro)spirometry at the pre-ablation outpatient clinic supervised by an AF nurse. Patients with results suggestive of airflow limitation were offered referral to the pulmonologist. Handheld (micro)spirometry was performed in 232 AF patients, which provided interpretable results in 206 (88.8%) patients. Airflow limitation was observed in 47 patients (20.3%). Out of these 47 patients, 29 (62%) opted for referral to the pulmonologist. The primary reason for non-referral was low perceived symptom burden. Using this screening strategy 17 (out of 232; 7.3%) ultimately received a diagnosis of chronic respiratory disease, either COPD or asthma. Conclusion A COPD care pathway can successfully be embedded in an existing AF outpatient clinic infrastructure, using (micro)spirometry and remote analysis of results. Although one out of five patients had results suggestive of an underlying chronic respiratory disease, only 62% of these patients opted for a referral. Pre-selection of patients as well as patient education might increase the diagnostic yield and requires further research.
Tijdschrift: EUROPACE
ISSN: 1099-5129
Issue: 7
Volume: 25
Jaar van publicatie:2023
Trefwoorden:Atrial fibrillation, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Screening, Microspirometry, Care pathway