Atrial fibrillation and chronic heart failure are two major and even growing cardiovascular conditions that often coexist. Cardiac resynchronization therapy is an important, device-based, non-pharmacological approach in a selected group of chronic heart failure patients that has been shown to improve left ventricular function and to reduce both morbidity and mortality in large randomized trials. The latest European and American guidelines have considered atrial fibrillation patients with heart failure eligible for cardiac resynchronization therapy. This review summarizes current literature concerning the following topics: prognostic relevance of atrial fibrillation in heart failure, effects of cardiac resynchronization therapy in atrial fibrillation, relevance and strategies of rhythm and rate control in this group of patients. Authors explain how atrial fibrillation may interfere with the delivery of adequate cardiac resynchronization therapy, how to reduce the burden of atrial tachyarrhythmias, and finally present a brief overview.
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