Guest Editorial

Tolga Aksu, Brian Olshansky

Guest Editorial

We are on the forefront of major change in the management of patients with symptoms of and evidence for hemodynamic abnormalities often associated with or due to cardiac arrhythmias. Although atrial fibrillation serves as a prototype, virtually all rhythm disturbances are affected by the autonomic nervous system. While therapeutic interventions are not completely perfected, a core common denominator is influence of the autonomic nervous system on initiation, maintenance and termination of important, symptomatic and life-threatening rhythm disturbances..

We are pleased to introduce this issue of Journal of Atrial Fibrillation that focuses on the autonomic nervous system from anatomy and physiology of the Heart-Brain connection to sophisticated interventional therapies. Internationally-recognized experts in the area of cardiovascular autonomic control provide prescient reviews on clinically important issues.

While the importance of the autonomic nervous system has been realized for decades, the mysteries of the effects of the autonomic nervous system are only partly unraveled by the data we have today in relation to atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular ectopy, syncope, atrioventricular block, sinus node dysfunction, congestive heart failure and much more. Autonomic modulation, including utilizing ablation techniques and device therapies are just beginning to be realized.

Here, a tempting array of critical topics related to the autonomic nervous system are provided for the reader to digest and incorporate into thinking about novel approaches to managing patients. While we do not expect this issue will encompass or summarize the entire field, we expect that the autonomic nervous system will become much more ingrained in our thinking about cardiac arrhythmias moving forward.

Dr. Olshansky dedicates this issue to his students, trainees, mentors, colleagues and the inquisitive public.

Dr Aksu would like to dedicate this issue to his wife and daughter.


Dr. Olshansky

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tolga Aksu

University of Health Sciences, Kocaeli Defence Training and Research Hospital