Background: Mega trials of rhythm vs rate control could not demonstrate the usefulness of available antiarrhythmic drugs, so a more effective and safer therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF) is now required. One candidate is the so-called "upstream therapy", which refers to the blockade of upstream modifying elements (renin-angiotensin system, cathecholamines, oxidative stress etc) that contribute to the arrhythmogenic substrate. Methods and Results: The Japanese Rhythm Management Trial II for Atrial Fibrillation (J-RHYTHM II study) is a randomized comparative evaluation of an angiotensin II type 1 blocker (candesartan) and a dihydropiridine calcium blocker (amlodipine), both combined with antithrombotic therapy, as an antiarrhythmic therapy for the treatment of paroxysmal AF (PAF) associated with hypertension. To test the usefulness of this therapy, this study will reveal the recurrence rate of asymptomatic as well as symptomatic PAF during 1-year of treatment with candesartan or amlodipine, using daily transtelephonic monitoring. Conclusions: The J-RHYTHM II study will follow 400 patients with PAF and hypertension who were treated at approximately 50 sites throughout Japan, and will provide clinically important information.
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