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J Cardiol. 1999 Mar;33 Suppl 1:53-7.

[Historical perspectives on the mechanism of atrial fibrillation].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo.


A number of experimental studies have been proposed to show that reentry is an important electrophysiological mechanism related to the development of atrial fibrillation. The beginning of the computer era enabled us to analyze the atrial activation during atrial fibrillation. The results of these studies were fascinating and allow for the development of theories and speculations on the mechanism of atrial fibrillation. Sophisticated computer techniques also allowed Moe to simulate atrial electrical activity during atrial fibrillation, and their team formulated so-called multiple wavelet theory which was subsequently supported by experimental evidence. Spiral wave for ventricular fibrillation was also proposed for the atrial activation mechanism during atrial fibrillation in the experimental model. The evidence available at the moment warrants the statement that atrial fibrillation is caused by multiple wavelet reentry. These studies will allow a better understanding of the relative importance of wavelength and structural inhomogeneities in the genesis of atrial fibrillation.

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