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Effect of Na+-channel blockade on the three-dimensional substrate of atrial fibrillation in a model of endo-epicardial dissociation and transmural conduction


Gharaviri, Ali; Verheule, Sander; Eckstein, Jens; Potse, Mark; Krause, Rolf; Auricchio, Angelo; Kuijpers, Nico H L; Schotten, Ulrich (2018). Effect of Na+-channel blockade on the three-dimensional substrate of atrial fibrillation in a model of endo-epicardial dissociation and transmural conduction. Europace, 20(suppl_3):iii69-iii76.

Abstract

Aims trial fibrillation (AF) is a progressive arrhythmia characterized by structural alterations that increase its stability. Both clinical and experimental studies showed a concomitant loss of antiarrhythmic drug efficacy in later stages of AF. The mechanisms underlying this loss of efficacy are not well understood. We hypothesized that structural remodelling may explain this reduced efficacy by making the substrate more three-dimensional. To investigate this, we simulated the effect of sodium (Na+)-channel block on AF in a model of progressive transmural uncoupling.
Methods and results n a computer model consisting of two cross-connected atrial layers, with realistic atrial membrane behaviour, structural remodelling was simulated by reducing the number of connections between the layers. 100% of endo-epicardial connectivity represented a healthy atrium. At various degrees of structural remodelling, we assessed the effect of 60% sodium channel block on AF stability, endo-epicardial electrical activity dissociation (EED), and fibrillatory conduction pattern complexity quantified by number of waves, phase singularities (PSs), and transmural conduction ('breakthrough', BT). Sodium channel block terminated AF in non-remodelled but not in remodelled atria. The temporal excitable gap (EG) and AF cycle length increased at all degrees of remodelling when compared with control. Despite an increase of EED and EG, sodium channel block decreased the incidence of BT because of transmural conduction block. Sodium channel block decreased the number of waves and PSs in normal atrium but not in structurally remodelled atrium.
Conclusion his simple atrial model explains the loss of efficacy of sodium channel blockers in terminating AF in the presence of severe structural remodelling as has been observed experimentally and clinically. Atrial fibrillation termination in atria with moderate structural remodelling in the presence of sodium channel block is caused by reduction of AF complexity. With more severe structural remodelling, sodium channel block fails to promote synchronization of the two layers of the model.

Abstract

Aims trial fibrillation (AF) is a progressive arrhythmia characterized by structural alterations that increase its stability. Both clinical and experimental studies showed a concomitant loss of antiarrhythmic drug efficacy in later stages of AF. The mechanisms underlying this loss of efficacy are not well understood. We hypothesized that structural remodelling may explain this reduced efficacy by making the substrate more three-dimensional. To investigate this, we simulated the effect of sodium (Na+)-channel block on AF in a model of progressive transmural uncoupling.
Methods and results n a computer model consisting of two cross-connected atrial layers, with realistic atrial membrane behaviour, structural remodelling was simulated by reducing the number of connections between the layers. 100% of endo-epicardial connectivity represented a healthy atrium. At various degrees of structural remodelling, we assessed the effect of 60% sodium channel block on AF stability, endo-epicardial electrical activity dissociation (EED), and fibrillatory conduction pattern complexity quantified by number of waves, phase singularities (PSs), and transmural conduction ('breakthrough', BT). Sodium channel block terminated AF in non-remodelled but not in remodelled atria. The temporal excitable gap (EG) and AF cycle length increased at all degrees of remodelling when compared with control. Despite an increase of EED and EG, sodium channel block decreased the incidence of BT because of transmural conduction block. Sodium channel block decreased the number of waves and PSs in normal atrium but not in structurally remodelled atrium.
Conclusion his simple atrial model explains the loss of efficacy of sodium channel blockers in terminating AF in the presence of severe structural remodelling as has been observed experimentally and clinically. Atrial fibrillation termination in atria with moderate structural remodelling in the presence of sodium channel block is caused by reduction of AF complexity. With more severe structural remodelling, sodium channel block fails to promote synchronization of the two layers of the model.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Cardiocentro Ticino
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 November 2018
Deposited On:19 Feb 2019 10:20
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:58
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1099-5129
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/europace/euy236
PubMed ID:30476060

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