PubMed 19656731

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.3 , Kir3.4

Title: Left versus right atrial difference in dominant frequency, K(+) channel transcripts, and fibrosis in patients developing atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery.

Authors: Swartz, Fink, Lutz, Taffet, Berenfeld, Vikstrom, Kasprowicz, Bhatta, Puskas, Kalifa, Jalife

Journal, date & volume: , 2009 Jun 17 , ,

PubMed link:

The development of atrial fibrillation (AF) after cardiac surgery is associated with adverse outcomes; however, the mechanism(s) that trigger and maintain AF in these patients are unknown.The purpose of this study was to test our hypothesis that postoperative AF is maintained by high-frequency sources in the left atrium (LA) resulting from ion channel and structural features that differ from the right atrium (RA).Forty-four patients with no previous history of AF who underwent cardiac surgery consented to LA and RA biopsies. Histologic sections evaluated fatty infiltration, fibrosis, and iron deposition; quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assessed ion channel expression. In a subset of 27 patients, LA and RA unipolar recording leads were also placed. In patients who developed AF, the dominant frequency (DF) for each lead was calculated using fast Fourier transform.DFs during AF were LA 6.26 +/- 0.8 Hz, RA 4.56 +/- 0.7 Hz (P <.01). RT-PCR revealed LA-to-RA differences in mRNA abundance for Kir2.3 (1.8:1) and Kir3.4 (2.3:1). While LA fibrosis was greater in patients developing AF compared with those remaining in normal sinus rhythm (10.8% +/- 11% vs. 3.8% +/- 3.5%; P = .03), the amount of LA fibrosis inversely correlated with the LA DF.This is the first demonstration of LA-to-RA frequency differences during postoperative AF, which are associated with LA-to-RA differences in mRNA levels for potassium channel proteins and LA fibrosis. These results strongly suggest that sources of AF after cardiac surgery are located in the LA and are stabilized by LA fibrosis.