Autonomic nerves in pulmonary veins

Heart Rhythm. 2007 Mar;4(3 Suppl):S57-60. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2006.12.011. Epub 2006 Dec 15.


Rapid repetitive activities arising from pulmonary veins may initiate atrial fibrillation. The basis of these rapid repetitive activities remains unclear, but recent evidence suggests that the autonomic nervous system plays an important role in their formation. Pulmonary veins and the adjoining left atrium are highly innervated structures. This review summarizes recent developments in the understanding of the anatomy of autonomic nerves in and around pulmonary veins and their implications for atrial fibrillation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery
  • Autonomic Denervation / methods
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Autonomic Nervous System / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Heart Atria / innervation
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Veins / innervation*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Thorax / blood supply*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiopathology
  • Veins / innervation