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Kidney failure associated with A-Fib
An_248405 posted:
In 2001 had double heart valve replacement at Mayo Clinc - did not go well. My body shut down but miraculously with a lot of intervention I came back. After that surgery only one of my kidneys cameback. I'm left with one kidney which has been doing great until recently. In January of this year I suffered multiple episodes of A-fib. The eloctro cardiologist recommended I go on Multaq - new anti arrithymic drug. Have not any more episodes of A fib - but my kidney function has worsened. The kidney GFR in January was 56 the latest GFR is 37, my question is - can A fib cause kidney function to decrease or is the GFR drop related to the Multaq. I also have gall stones which affects digestion - so could the liver function affect the kidney function?
cardiostarusa1 responded:

"Have not any more episodes of A fib"


"Can A fib cause kidney function to decrease"

Not typically.

And for those diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF/a-fib), it is important to know and understand that this condition has various causes (also known to be associated with many cardiac conditons) or triggers, sometimes being a one time-only occurrence, or may/can come and go, or be chronic.

During AF, electrical signals in the atria occur in a very fast, uncontrolled, and chaotic manner so that the atria quiver instead of contract, producing ineffective and disorganized atrial contractions. These disorganized electrical signals then arrive at the ventricles in an irregular fashion.

As reported, AF is an independent risk factor for a brain attack/stroke (increasing the risk about 5-fold), and significantly increases all-cause mortality in most age groups. Additionally, some individuals with AF are at an increased risk of heart failure or cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease).

There are a small % of individuals in which a reversible cause for AF can be readily identified, e.g., alcoholism, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes, and thus AF does not recur once the cause has been alleviated.

As applicable, goals for managing recurrent or chronic AF are to restore and maintain the normal atrial rhythm and pumping function, control the ventricular rate, prevent any correlating major adverse cardiac event.

AF Management

Correct any electrolyte imbalance/defficiency, in particular, potassium, magnesium. Consider cardioversion (externally shocking the heart into normal sinus rhythm, which may/can fail). Control the ventricular response. Consider anticoagulation (Coumadin) therapy, or new drugs that may be/are becoming/have become available.

"...or is the GFR drop related to the Multaq."

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"I also have gall stones which affects digestion - so could the liver function affect the kidney function?"

More likely not, though anything medical is seemingly possible (though sometimes improbable) today.

Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



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