Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most commonly encountered, sustained cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice. The risk of developing AF increases with age and tends to be higher in males than in females. The disease presents a wide spectrum of symptoms and severity AND it is progressive. The global prevalence of AF is estimated to be 34 million patients, which is expected to increase substantially as the general population ages. Paroxysmal AF accounts for approximately 27%-39% of all diagnosed cases of AF. In the US, up to 6 million people have AF1-3. AF accounts for > $26B annually in U.S. healthcare costs, approximately 40% of which are hospital-related4-5.
Approved treatments for PAF are either chronic administration of oral antiarrhythmic drugs or acute procedures requiring an ER or hospital visit (intravenous drugs or electrical cardioversion). Repeated or prolonged atrial fibrillation (AF) episodes are associated with reduced quality of life, progression of atrial fibrillation episodes, heart failure, higher rates of stroke and, often, the need for interventional procedures such as ablation. The ideal PAF treatment would be available wherever/whenever a PAF episode occurs and would return patients to normal sinus rhythm as quickly as possible while minimizing overall drug exposure.