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From incidental, mechanically-induced arrhythmias to reflex-defined arrhythmogenicity: on the track of the ternary reflex system resemblance to the “infancy” of new era or rediscovery

The underlying pathophysiology of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias remains a matter of intense investigation. Though evolving, the contemporary explanations do not encompass all aspects of arrhythmogenicity. An improved understanding of arrhythmia substrate is needed to augment therapeutic capabilities. Our observation and literature sources demonstrate relatively high incidence of transitory arrhythmias which are non-intentionally generated by the endocardial lead/catheter manipulation. These findings are interesting and potentially may crystallize the reflex-dependent proarrhythmic cardiac activity. Herein we suggest the “reflexogenic arrhythmogenicity” concept extending an overall spectrum of known hypotheses. Cardiovascular reflex action can be categorized into three-tiered levels – intra-cellular, inter-cellular and inter-organic. The first two levels of the triplicate system reside within the cardiac anatomical landmarks (in fact intramurally, intra-organically), however the third one implicates central (cerebral) activity which boomerangs back via centripetal and centrifugal connections. These levels likely compose synoptic ternary reflex set system which may be validated in future studies. To hypothesize, coordinated mutual reciprocity of reflex activity results in stabilization of heart rhythm in robust heart. Any stressful cardiac event may lead to the shift of the rhythm toward unfavorable clinical entity probably via the loss of the influence of dominant reflex. Overall, an interaction and likely intrinsic inter-tiered competition along with possible interplay between physiological and pathological reflexes may be treated as contributing factors for the inception and maintaining of arrhythmias and cardiac performance as well. These assumptions await further documentation. If such a tenet were recognized, the changes in the clinical approach to arrhythmia management might be anticipated, preferably by selective reflex suppression or activation strategy.

Credits: Petras Stirbys

Biosense Webster
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Introduction to AFib
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