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4 . 2022

The role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common and progressive cardiac arrhythmia in the world and it associated with serious complications such as heart failure and ischemic stroke. Despite the progress in the treatment of AF, mainly using invasive methods, many questions regarding the arrhythmia pathological mechanisms and methods for its prevention still remain unanswered.

The development of AF requires functional changes in the atrial myocardium, which results from disturbed ion fluxes and altered cardiomyocytes electrophysiology.

The electrical instability and electrical remodeling underlying the arrhythmia may result from cellular energy deficiency and oxidative stress, which are caused by mitochondrial dysfunction.

The significance of mitochondrial dysfunction AF in the pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. Therefore, there is an urgent need to study the molecular mechanisms that cause AF. High rate of atrial activation, which occures due to AF, requires a high energy metabolism. Therefore mitochondrial dysfunction plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of AF is likely.

It is well known that mitochondria play a central role in the functioning of cardiomyocytes as they produce energy to maintain the mechanical and electrical function of the heart. The resulting information on the molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly being positioned as a factor contributing to the loss of cardiomyocyte function and AF.

Given the high prevalence of this arrhythmia, the study of the role of mitochondrial disorders in AF is likely to chart the way to new therapeutic and diagnostic targets.

This review presents the latest data on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the development of AF.

Keywords:atrial fibrillation; ion channels; cardiac remodeling; reactive oxygen species; mitochondrial dysfunction

Funding. The study had no sponsor support.

Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

For citation: Tatarsky B.A., Napalkov D.A., Kazennova N.V. The role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. Kardiologiya: novosti, mneniya, obuchenie [Cardiology: News, Opinions, Training]. 2022. Т. 10, № 3. С. 48–53. DOI:


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Andrey G. Obrezan
MD, Professor, Head of the Hospital Therapy Department of the Saint Petersburg State University, Chief Physician of SOGAZ MEDICINE Clinical Group, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Medicine today

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