Genetic variants at chromosome 4q25 have recently been associated with a twofold risk of lone atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. These variants are teaching us more about the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation and identify individuals at higher risk of developing the condition. In individuals who have cryptogenic stroke these variants may suggest that occult atrial fibrillation is a causative factor and indicate ambulatory ECG monitoring, and potentially anticoagulation. In the future testing these variants may aid in treatment strategies such as ablation techniques or pharmacological preventative measures.
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