Cellular bases for human atrial fibrillation

Workman, A.J. , Kane, K. and Rankin, A.C. (2008) Cellular bases for human atrial fibrillation. Heart Rhythm, 5(6, Sup), S1-S6. (doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2008.01.016)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2008.01.016


Atrial fibrillation (AF) causes substantial morbidity and mortality. It may be triggered and sustained by either reentrant or nonreentrant electrical activity. Human atrial cellular refractory period is shortened in chronic AF, likely aiding reentry. The ionic and molecular mechanisms are not fully understood and may include increased inward rectifier K<sup>+</sup> current and altered Ca<sup>2+</sup> handling. Heart failure, a major cause of AF, may involve arrhythmogenic atrial electrical remodeling, but the pattern is unclear in humans. Beta-blocker therapy prolongs atrial cell refractory period; a potentially antiarrhythmic influence, but the ionic and molecular mechanisms are unclear. The search for drugs to suppress AF without causing ventricular arrhythmias has been aided by basic studies of cellular mechanisms of AF. It remains to be seen whether such drugs will improve patient treatment.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Arrhythmias (mechanisms), atrial fibrillation, beta-blocker, electrical remodeling, heart failure, ion current, refractory period, transmembrane action potential.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rankin, Professor Andrew and Workman, Dr Antony
Authors: Workman, A.J., Kane, K., and Rankin, A.C.
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Clinical Specialities
Journal Name:Heart Rhythm
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Heart Rhythm 5(6, Supplement):S1-S6
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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