Volume 2015, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 2305-7823
  • EISSN:


The mechanisms responsible for sustaining atrial fibrillation are a key debate in cardiovascular pathophysiology, and directly influence the approach to therapy including ablation. Clinical and basic studies have split AF mechanisms into two basic camps: ‘spatially distributed disorganization’ and ‘localized sources’. Recent data suggest that these mechanisms can also be separated by the method for mapping – with nearly all traditional electrogram analyses showing spatially distributed disorganization, and nearly all optical mapping studies showing localized sources. We will review this dichotomy in light of these recently identified differences in mapping, and in the context of recent clinical studies in which localized ablation has been shown to impact AF, also lending support to the localized source hypothesis. We will conclude with other concepts on mechanism-based ablation and areas of ongoing research that must be addressed to continue improving our knowledge and treatment of AF.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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