Patients diagnosed with the same subtype of atrial fibrillation according to our current classification system may differ in symptom severity, severity of the arrhythmogenic substrate, and response to antiarrhythmic therapy. Hence, there is a need for an electrical biomarker as an indicator of the arrhythmogenic substrate underlying atrial fibrillation enabling patient-tailored therapy. The aim of this review is to investigate whether atrial refractoriness, a well-known electrophysiological parameter that is affected by electrical remodeling, can be used as an electrical biomarker of the arrhythmogenic substrate underlying atrial fibrillation. We discuss methodologies of atrial effective refractory period assessment, identify which changes in refractoriness-related parameters reflect different degrees of electrical remodeling, and explore whether these parameters can be used to predict clinical outcomes.

atrial fibrillation ■ biomarker ■ electrophysiology ■ refractory period,

van Staveren, L.N., & de Groot, N.M.S. (2020). Exploring Refractoriness as an Adjunctive Electrical Biomarker for Staging of Atrial Fibrillation. Stroke, 9(23). doi:10.1161/jaha.120.018427