Ibrutinib-Associated Atrial Fibrillation

Sarju Ganatra, Ajay Sharma, Sachin Shah, Ghulam M. Chaudhry, David T. Martin, Tomas G. Neilan, Syed Saad Mahmood, Ana Barac, John D. Groarke, Salim S. Hayek, Saurbha Dani, David Venesy, Richard Patten, Anju Nohria

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Ibrutinib, a novel and potent Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for a variety of B-cell lymphomas. However, its use is associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF), ranging from 4% to 16%. We reviewed the original clinical trials that led to the approval of ibrutinib, as well as several other prospective and retrospective studies, to better appreciate the incidence of ibrutinib-associated AF. Based on 16 studies included in our analysis, the incidence of ibrutinib-associated AF was 5.77 per 100 person-years, which is much higher than rates previously reported with ibrutinib and compared with the general adult population. New onset AF in cancer patients is associated with a significantly higher risk of heart failure and thromboembolism, even after adjusting for known risk factors. In addition, ibrutinib poses unique challenges due to its interactions with many medications that are commonly used to manage AF. Ibrutinib also inhibits platelet activation and decisions regarding anticoagulation have to be carefully weighed against this increased risk of bleeding. Ibrutinib's interaction with calcium channel blockers, digoxin, amiodarone, and direct oral anticoagulants can result in either ibrutinib or other drug-related toxicity and careful selection and dose adjustment may be needed. Ibrutinib-associated AF can be a therapy-limiting side effect and physicians should be familiar with the special management considerations imposed by this agent. We review the potential mechanisms and incidence of ibrutinib-associated AF and propose an algorithm for its management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1500
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • anticoagulation
  • atrial fibrillation
  • B-cell lymphoma
  • ibrutinib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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