145 research outputs found

    25 years of basic and translational science in EP Europace: novel insights into arrhythmia mechanisms and therapeutic strategies.

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    In the last 25 years, EP Europace has published more than 300 basic and translational science articles covering different arrhythmia types (ranging from atrial fibrillation to ventricular tachyarrhythmias), different diseases predisposing to arrhythmia formation (such as genetic arrhythmia disorders and heart failure), and different interventional and pharmacological anti-arrhythmic treatment strategies (ranging from pacing and defibrillation to different ablation approaches and novel drug-therapies). These studies have been conducted in cellular models, small and large animal models, and in the last couple of years increasingly in silico using computational approaches. In sum, these articles have contributed substantially to our pathophysiological understanding of arrhythmia mechanisms and treatment options; many of which have made their way into clinical applications. This review discusses a representative selection of EP Europace manuscripts covering the topics of pacing and ablation, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and pro-arrhythmic ventricular remodelling, ion channel (dys)function and pharmacology, inherited arrhythmia syndromes, and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathies, highlighting some of the advances of the past 25 years. Given the increasingly recognized complexity and multidisciplinary nature of arrhythmogenesis and continued technological developments, basic and translational electrophysiological research is key advancing the field. EP Europace aims to further increase its contribution to the discovery of arrhythmia mechanisms and the implementation of mechanism-based precision therapy approaches in arrhythmia management

    Determinants of Beat-to-Beat Variability of Repolarization Duration in the Canine Ventricular Myocyte: A Computational Analysis

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    Beat-to-beat variability of repolarization duration (BVR) is an intrinsic characteristic of cardiac function and a better marker of proarrhythmia than repolarization prolongation alone. The ionic mechanisms underlying baseline BVR in physiological conditions, its rate dependence, and the factors contributing to increased BVR in pathologies remain incompletely understood. Here, we employed computer modeling to provide novel insights into the subcellular mechanisms of BVR under physiological conditions and during simulated drug-induced repolarization prolongation, mimicking long-QT syndromes type 1, 2, and 3. We developed stochastic implementations of 13 major ionic currents and fluxes in a model of canine ventricular-myocyte electrophysiology. Combined stochastic gating of these components resulted in short- and long-term variability, consistent with experimental data from isolated canine ventricular myocytes. The model indicated that the magnitude of stochastic fluctuations is rate dependent due to the rate dependence of action-potential (AP) duration (APD). This process (the “active” component) and the intrinsic nonlinear relationship between membrane current and APD (“intrinsic component”) contribute to the rate dependence of BVR. We identified a major role in physiological BVR for stochastic gating of the persistent Na+ current (INa) and rapidly activating delayed-rectifier K+ current (IKr). Inhibition of IKr or augmentation of INa significantly increased BVR, whereas subsequent β-adrenergic receptor stimulation reduced it, similar to experimental findings in isolated myocytes. In contrast, β-adrenergic stimulation increased BVR in simulated long-QT syndrome type 1. In addition to stochastic channel gating, AP morphology, APD, and beat-to-beat variations in Ca2+ were found to modulate single-cell BVR. Cell-to-cell coupling decreased BVR and this was more pronounced when a model cell with increased BVR was coupled to a model cell with normal BVR. In conclusion, our results provide new insights into the ionic mechanisms underlying BVR and suggest that BVR reflects multiple potentially proarrhythmic parameters, including increased ion-channel stochasticity, prolonged APD, and abnormal Ca2+ handling

    The Subcellular Distribution of Ryanodine Receptors and L-Type Ca2+ Channels Modulates Ca2+-Transient Properties and Spontaneous Ca2+-Release Events in Atrial Cardiomyocytes

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    Spontaneous Ca2+-release events (SCaEs) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum play crucial roles in the initiation of cardiac arrhythmias by promoting triggered activity. However, the subcellular determinants of these SCaEs remain incompletely understood. Structural differences between atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes, e.g., regarding the density of T-tubular membrane invaginations, may influence cardiomyocyte Ca2+-handling and the distribution of cardiac ryanodine receptors (RyR2) has recently been shown to undergo remodeling in atrial fibrillation. These data suggest that the subcellular distribution of Ca2+-handling proteins influences proarrhythmic Ca2+-handling abnormalities. Here, we employ computational modeling to provide an in-depth analysis of the impact of variations in subcellular RyR2 and L-type Ca2+-channel distributions on Ca2+-transient properties and SCaEs in a human atrial cardiomyocyte model. We incorporate experimentally observed RyR2 expression patterns and various configurations of axial tubules in a previously published model of the human atrial cardiomyocyte. We identify an increased SCaE incidence for larger heterogeneity in RyR2 expression, in which SCaEs preferentially arise from regions of high local RyR2 expression. Furthermore, we show that the propagation of Ca2+ waves is modulated by the distance between RyR2 bands, as well as the presence of experimentally observed RyR2 clusters between bands near the lateral membranes. We also show that incorporation of axial tubules in various amounts and locations reduces Ca2+-transient time to peak. Furthermore, selective hyperphosphorylation of RyR2 around axial tubules increases the number of spontaneous waves. Finally, we present a novel model of the human atrial cardiomyocyte with physiological RyR2 and L-type Ca2+-channel distributions that reproduces experimentally observed Ca2+-handling properties. Taken together, these results significantly enhance our understanding of the structure-function relationship in cardiomyocytes, identifying that RyR2 and L-type Ca2+-channel distributions have a major impact on systolic Ca2+ transients and SCaEs

    The circle of reentry: Characteristics of trigger-substrate interaction leading to sudden cardiac arrest

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    Sudden cardiac death is often caused by ventricular arrhythmias driven by reentry. Comprehensive characterization of the potential triggers and substrate in survivors of sudden cardiac arrest has provided insights into the trigger-substrate interaction leading to reentry. Previously, a “Triangle of Arrhythmogenesis”, reflecting interactions between substrate, trigger and modulating factors, has been proposed to reason about arrhythmia initiation. Here, we expand upon this concept by separating the trigger and substrate characteristics in their spatial and temporal components. This yields four key elements that are required for the initiation of reentry: local dispersion of excitability (e.g., the presence of steep repolarization time gradients), a critical relative size of the region of excitability and the region of inexcitability (e.g., a sufficiently large region with early repolarization), a trigger that originates at a time when some tissue is excitable and other tissue is inexcitable (e.g., an early premature complex), and which occurs from an excitable region (e.g., from a region with early repolarization). We discuss how these findings yield a new mechanistic framework for reasoning about reentry initiation, the “Circle of Reentry.” In a patient case of unexplained ventricular fibrillation, we then illustrate how a comprehensive clinical investigation of these trigger-substrate characteristics may help to understand the associated arrhythmia mechanism. We will also discuss how this reentry initiation concept may help to identify patients at risk, and how similar reasoning may apply to other reentrant arrhythmias

    A left bundle branch block activation sequence and ventricular pacing influence voltage amplitudes: an in vivo and in silico study

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    International audienceAims The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the activation sequence on voltage amplitudes by evaluating regional voltage differences during a left bundle branch block (LBBB) activation sequence vs. a normal synchronous activation sequence and by evaluating pacing-induced voltage differences. Twenty-one patients and three computer models without scar were studied. Regional voltage amplitudes were evaluated in nine LBBB patients who underwent endocardial electro-anatomic mapping (EAM). Pacing-induced voltage differences were evaluated in 12 patients who underwent epicardial EAM during intrinsic rhythm and right ven-tricular (RV) pacing. Three computer models customized for LBBB patients were created. Changes in voltage amplitudes after an LBBB (intrinsic), a normal synchronous, an RV pacing, and a left ventricular pacing activation sequence were assessed in the computer models. Unipolar voltage amplitudes in patients were approximately ~4.5 mV (4.4-4.7 mV, ~33%) lower in the septum when compared with other segments. A normal synchronous activation sequence in the computer models normalized voltage amplitudes in the septum. Pacing-induced differences were larger in electrograms with higher voltage amplitudes during intrinsic rhythm and furthermore larger and more variable at the epicardium [mean absolute difference: 3.6-6.2 mV, 40-53% of intrinsic value; interquartile range (IQR) differences: 53-63% of intrinsic value] compared to the endocardium (mean absolute difference: 3.3-3.8 mV, 2
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