Intra-operative mapping of the atria: the first step towards individualization of atrial fibrillation therapy?
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy , Volume 15 - Issue 7 p. 537- 545
Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF), an age-related progressive disease, is becoming a worldwide epidemic with a prevalence rate of 33 million.
Areas covered: In this expert review, an overview of important results obtained from previous intra-operative mapping studies is provided. In addition, our novel intra-operative high resolution mapping studies, its surgical considerations and data analyses are discussed. Furthermore, the importance of high resolution mapping studies of both sinus rhythm and AF for the development of future AF therapy is underlined by our most recent results.
Expert commentary: Progression of AF is determined by the extensiveness of electropathology which is defined as conduction disorders caused by structural damage of atrial tissue. The severity of electropathology is a major determinant of therapy failure. At present, we do not have any diagnostic tool to determine the degree of electropathology in the individual patient and we can thus not select the most optimal treatment modality for the individual patient. An intra-operative, high resolution scale, epicardial mapping approach combined with quantification of electrical parameters may serve as a diagnostic tool to stage AF in the individual patient and to provide patient tailored therapy.