Introduction: High-resolution atrial mapping studies have provided novel insights in the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the last few years. Increasing attention is being drawn to the so-called focal activation patterns (FAPs); however, there is no consensus on criteria to identify and characterize these patterns. Areas covered: In this expert review, an overview of definitions and criteria used to examine FAPs obtained from atrial mapping studies is provided and studies reporting on the underlying mechanisms are discussed. Expert commentary: High-resolution cardiac mapping has revealed the importance of FAPs in the pathophysiology of AF. There is increasing evidence supporting the concept of endo-epicardial (E-E) asynchrony enabling transmural conduction of electrical waves resulting in FAPs. Uniform reports of FAPs in future studies are needed to provide more knowledge on its clinical importance.

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Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy
Department of Cardiology

Kharbanda, R., Garcia-Izquierdo, E. (Eusebio), Bogers, A., & de Groot, N. (2018). Focal activation patterns: breaking new grounds in the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation. Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy (Vol. 16, pp. 479–488). doi:10.1080/14779072.2018.1485488