Characterization of Atrial and Ventricular Structural Remodeling in a Porcine Model of Atrial Fibrillation Induced by Atrial Tachypacing

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Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is characterized by electrical and structural remodeling. Irregular and/or fast atrio-ventricular (AV) conduction during AF can result in AV dyssynchrony, tachymyopathy, pressure and volume overload with subsequent dilatation, valve regurgitation, and ventricular dysfunction with progression to heart failure. Objective: To gain further insight into the myocardial pathophysiological changes induced by right atrial tachypacing (A-TP) in a large animal model. Methods: A total of 28 Landrace pigs were randomized as 14 into AF-induced A-TP group and 14 pigs to control group. AF pigs were tachypaced for 43 ± 4 days until in sustained AF. Functional remodeling was investigated by echocardiography (after cardioversion to sinus rhythm). Structural remodeling was quantified by histological preparations with picrosirius red and immunohistochemical stainings. Results: A-TP resulted in decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) accompanied by increased end-diastolic and end-systolic left atrium (LA) volume and area. In addition, A-TP was associated with mitral valve (MV) regurgitation, diastolic dysfunction and increased atrial and ventricular fibrotic extracellular matrix (ECM). Conclusions: A-TP induced AF with concomitant LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction, increased LA volume and area, and atrial and ventricular fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number179
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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