This review focuses on the (mal)adaptive processes in atrial excitation-contraction coupling occurring in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. Cellular remodeling includes shortening of the atrial action potential duration and effective refractory period, depressed intracellular Ca2+ transient, and reduced myocyte contractility. Here we summarize the current knowledge of the ionic bases underlying these changes. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of excitation-contraction-coupling remodeling in the fibrillating human atria is important to identify new potential targets for AF therapy.
Credits: Eleonora Grandi; Antony J. Workman; Sandeep V. Pandit