Pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation

A network of pathways influences the onset and persistence of atrial fibrillation (AF).

In any particular patient, the onset and persistence of AF may involve a complex network of mutually reinforcing pathogenic pathways that are influenced by age, genetic factors and acquired risk factors.6,25 For example, acute coronary syndrome (ACS), such as myocardial infarction, as well as surgery or infection seem to precipitate a third of AF cases.19 Table 3 summaries the possible pathophysiology of different AF types, which may overlap in clinical practice.5 This section takes a deep dive into the pathophysiology of this common arrhythmia.

Table 3. Possible pathophysiology of different clinical types of AF.5

Possible pathophysiology of different clinical types of atrial fibrillation

 

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