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Fibrillation atriale : des mécanismes physiopathologiques à la prise en charge thérapeutique

Abstract : Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia, significantly increasing patients’ morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms explaining the initiation and maintenance of the arrhythmia are incompletely understood, and the current treatment strategy is suboptimal. To better understand the pathophysiology of AF, we conducted various projects using Langendorff-perfused sheep hearts and a chronic model of long-standing persistent AF. In the model of persistent AF, we demonstrated that dominant frequency (DF) progressively increases during the first weeks of the arrhythmia, during its paroxysmal stage, due to the electrophysiological remodeling resulting in atrial action potential shortening. DF stabilizes once the electrophysiological remodeling is maximal, and the arrhythmia becomes persitent. The rate of DF increase (dDF/dt) was strongly correlated with the time to persistent AF. Structural remodeling appears secondarily, once transition has occured. We also studied the anti-arrhythmic mechanisms of chloroquine (IK1 blocker) and ranolazine (INa blocker), which slow the frequency of rotation of rotors, decrease the DF and favor reversal to sinus rhythm. These projects helped us to better understand the importance of these currents in AF dynamics. Lastly, we demonstrated the increased efficacy of AF ablation when using the second generation cryoballoon (CB), which regrettably increases the occurrence of phrenic nerve palsy. A simple, reliable predictor of this complication was found, the distance between the lateral edge of the CB and the phrenic nerve stimulating catheter. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the initiation and maintenance of AF, in conjunction with better therapeutic strategies will help to improve patients’ quality of life and decrease the complications of the arrhythmia.
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Pedro Raphaël Martins. Fibrillation atriale : des mécanismes physiopathologiques à la prise en charge thérapeutique. Cardiologie et système cardiovasculaire. Université Rennes 1, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014REN1B010⟩. ⟨tel-01156546⟩

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