Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, contributing to increased morbidity and reduced survival through its associations with stroke and heart failure. AF contributes to a four- to fivefold increase in the risk of stroke in the general population and is responsible for 10–15 % of all ischemic strokes. Diagnosis and treatment of AF require considerable health care resources. Current therapies to restore sinus rhythm in AF are suboptimal and are limited either by their pro-arrhythmic effects or by their procedure-related complications. These limitations have necessitated identification of newer therapeutic targets to expand the treatment options. There has been a considerable amount of research interest in investigating the mechanisms of initiation and propagation of AF. Despite extensive research focused on the pathogenesis of AF, a thorough understanding of various pathways mediating initiation and propagation of AF still remains limited. Research efforts focused on the identification of these pathways and molecular mediators have generated a great degree of interest for developing more targeted therapies. This review discusses the potential therapeutic targets and the results from experimental and clinical research investigating these targets.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)