4th Joint AFNET / EHRA Consensus Conference

Personalised management of atrial fibrillation patients – connecting pathophysiology and clinical experience with outcomes

24 - 25 January 2013, European Heart House, Sophia Antipolis, France

Scientific organizers

Günter Breithardt (Münster, Germany)
John Camm (London, UK)
Paulus Kirchhof (Birmingham, UK / Münster, Germany)
Gregory Lip (Birmingham, UK)

Group picture taken during the conference


71 specialists in atrial fibrillation – 52 invited scientists from 15 European countries and North America, as well as 19 industry participants from 10 companies – participated in the 4th Joint AFNET/EHRA consensus conference.

The two-day expert meeting started with a half-day of information-packed plenary sessions. Thereafter, participants split into six smaller groups to work on different topics within the theme of personalised atrial fibrillation management. The results of these work shops were discussed in two additional plenaries to achieve consensus on the main results of the conference.

Presentations of the first plenary session

Cardiovascular complications in atrial fibrillation – an update for the 21st century (chair: John Camm, London, UK)

  • Event rates in current AF populations according to 4P classification (Hugh Calkins, Baltimore, USA)
  • Event rates in current AF populations according to symptoms / EHRA score (Michael Näbauer, Munich, Germany)
  • Event rates in current AF populations by age and risk scores (Gregory Lip, Birmingham, UK)
  • Outcomes over time in AF patients – when does risk accumulate? (Ron Pisters, Maastricht, Netherlands)
  • Do concomitant cardiovascular conditions promote atrial fibrillation? (Burkert Pieske, Graz, Austria)

Real-life questions and new perspectives for anticoagulant therapy in AF (chair: Gregory Lip, Birmingham, UK)

  • New oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in clinical practice: Answers from a professional organization (Hein Heidbuchel, Leuven, Belgium)
  • Predicting bleeding risk from brain imaging – what clinicians should know (David Werring, London, UK)
  • Silent strokes in AF and during AF ablation: What is their clinical impact? (Karl Georg Häusler, Berlin, Germany)
  • Anticoagulant therapy after AF ablation – does apparent sinus rhythm change management? (Harry Crijns, Maastricht, Netherlands)

Hybrid therapy approaches in atrial fibrillation (chair: Paulus Kirchhof, Birmingham, UK / Münster, Germany)

  • Combination of different antiarrhythmic drugs – rationale and clinical need (James Reiffel, New York, USA)
  • Combination of antiarrhythmic drugs and catheter ablation: When and why? (Lluis Mont, Barcelona, Spain)
  • Combination of anticoagulation and LAA occluders: Clinically useful? (Lucas Boersma, Nieuwegein, Netherlands)
  • Implanted AF monitors – danger or opportunity for atrial fibrillation management? (Angelo Auricchio, Lugano, Switzerland)

New perspectives on an old arrhythmia (chair: Günter Breithardt, Münster, Germany)

  • Mechanisms of AF and its perpetuation – does timing of rhythm control matter? (Ulrich Schotten, Maastricht, Netherlands)
  • Making sense of genetic and molecular markers for AF (Stephane Hatem, Paris, France)


Special issues discussed in the break-out sessions

  • Work shop 1: What really distinguishes AF trial populations and “general” AF patients?
  • Work shop 2: Are different pathophysiological types of AF helpful to decide on management?
  • Work shop 3: Genetic, structural and biochemical biomarkers: Picking up signals or palm-reading?
  • Work shop 4: Can the ECG be used as a tool to personalise AF management?
  • Work shop 5: Tailoring anticoagulant therapy by stroke risk, bleeding risk, and AF type.
  • Work shop 6: Acute management of newly diagnosed AF with and without a stroke



The conference was co-financed by AFNET and EHRA and received additional unrestricted financial support from Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Meda Pharma, Medtronic, Pfizer, Sanofi, and St. Jude Medical.


Kirchhof P, Breithardt G, Aliot E, Al Khatib S, Apostolakis S, Auricchio A, Bailleul C, Bax J, Benninger G, Blomstrom-Lundqvist C, Boersma L, Boriani G, Brandes A, Brown H, Brueckmann M, Calkins H, Casadei B, Clemens A, Crijns H, Derwand R, Dobrev D, Ezekowitz M, Fetsch T, Gerth A, Gillis A, Gulizia M, Hack G, Haegeli L, Hatem S, Hausler KG, Heidbuchel H, Hernandez-Brichis J, Jais P, Kappenberger L, Kautzner J, Kim S, Kuck K-H, Lane D, Leute A, Lewalter T, Meyer R, Mont L, Moses G, Mueller M, Munzel F, Nabauer M, Nielsen JC, Oeff M, Oto A, Pieske B, Pisters R, Potpara T, Rasmussen L, Ravens U, Reiffel J, Richard-Lordereau I, Schafer H, Schotten U, Stegink W, Stein K, Steinbeck G, Szumowski L, Tavazzi L, Themistoclakis S, Thomitzek K, Van Gelder IC, von Stritzky B, Vincent A, Werring D, Willems S, Lip GYH, Camm AJ.
Personalized management of atrial fibrillation: Proceedings from the fourth Atrial Fibrillation competence NETwork/European Heart Rhythm Association consensus conference.
Europace 2013; doi: 10.1093/europace/eut232