Inflammation and the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation

Yu Feng Hu, Yi Jen Chen, Yenn Jiang Lin, Shih Ann Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

184 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. However, the development of preventative therapies for AF has been disappointing. The infiltration of immune cells and proteins that mediate the inflammatory response in cardiac tissue and circulatory processes is associated with AF. Furthermore, the presence of inflammation in the heart or systemic circulation can predict the onset of AF and recurrence in the general population, as well as in patients after cardiac surgery, cardioversion, and catheter ablation. Mediators of the inflammatory response can alter atrial electrophysiology and structural substrates, thereby leading to increased vulnerability to AF. Inflammation also modulates calcium homeostasis and connexins, which are associated with triggers of AF and heterogeneous atrial conduction. Myolysis, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and the activation of fibrotic pathways via fibroblasts, transforming growth factor-β and matrix metalloproteases are also mediated by inflammatory pathways, which can all contribute to structural remodelling of the atria. The development of thromboembolism, a detrimental complication of AF, is also associated with inflammatory activity. Understanding the complex pathophysiological processes and dynamic changes of AF-associated inflammation might help to identify specific anti-inflammatory strategies for the prevention of AF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-243
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Cardiology
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 23 2015

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Atrial Fibrillation
Inflammation
Atrial Remodeling
Cardiac Catheters
Electric Countershock
Connexins
Catheter Ablation
Fibroblast Growth Factors
Electrophysiology
Thromboembolism
Transforming Growth Factors
Metalloproteases
Cardiac Myocytes
Thoracic Surgery
Cardiac Arrhythmias
Homeostasis
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Apoptosis
Calcium
Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Inflammation and the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. / Hu, Yu Feng; Chen, Yi Jen; Lin, Yenn Jiang; Chen, Shih Ann.

In: Nature Reviews Cardiology, Vol. 12, No. 4, 23.04.2015, p. 230-243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hu, Yu Feng ; Chen, Yi Jen ; Lin, Yenn Jiang ; Chen, Shih Ann. / Inflammation and the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. In: Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2015 ; Vol. 12, No. 4. pp. 230-243.
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