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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;740:1175-91. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-2888-2_53.

Proarrhythmic atrial calcium cycling in the diseased heart.

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Division of Experimental Cardiology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.


During the last decades Ca(2+) has been found to play a crucial role in cardiac arrhythmias associated with heart failure and a number of congenital arrhythmia syndromes. Recent studies demonstrated that altered atrial Ca(2+) cycling may promote the initiation and maintenance of atrial fibrillation, the most common clinical arrhythmia that contributes significantly to population morbidity and mortality. This article describes physiological Ca(2+) cycling mechanisms in atrial cardiomyocytes and relates them to fundamental cellular proarrhythmic mechanisms involving Ca(2+) signaling abnormalities in the atrium during atrial fibrillation.

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