Intended for healthcare professionals

Clinical Review State of the Art Review

Newer technologies for detection of atrial fibrillation

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 17 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k3946
  1. Nath Zungsontiporn, cardiology fellow,
  2. Mark S Link, professor of internal medicine
  1. UT Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Dallas, TX, USA
  1. Correspondence to: M Link Mark.Link{at}


Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia that is associated with increased risk of stroke, which can be reduced with appropriate anticoagulation treatment. However, it remains underdiagnosed in contemporary clinical practice using conventional detection methods, resulting in missed opportunities to implement appropriate treatment. Newer technologies developed in recent years can potentially enhance the detection of atrial fibrillation and overcome certain limitations of the conventional methods. However, uncertainties remain about their use and the significance of atrial fibrillation detected by some of these newer technologies. This review examines the evidence supporting the use of some of these technologies and evaluates their applications in certain clinical scenarios.


  • Series explanation: State of the Art Reviews are commissioned on the basis of their relevance to academics and specialists in the US and internationally. For this reason they are written predominantly by US authors

  • Contributors: NZ conducted the search, and both authors selected the studies for inclusion. NZ drafted the manuscript, and MSL edited and approved the final version.

  • Competing interests: We have read and understood BMJ policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: none.

  • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient involvement: No patients were asked for input in the creation of this article.

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