Classification of atrial fibrillation based on duration

Atrial fibrillation has been classified into 4 categories based on duration by the American heart association. They are:

  • Paroxysmal AF – Lasting upto 7 days. But usually it undergoes spontaneous resolution within 48 hours
  • Persistent AF – Lasting more than 7 days upto 1 year
  • Long standing persistent AF – If an AF lasts more than 1 year and we are planning to do rhythm control treatment (chemical cardioversion / electrical cardioversion / ablation of the excitation focus)
  • Permanent AF – If AF lasts for more than 1 year and we are not planning to do any rhythm control treatment (due to any reason)

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