Understanding the mechanism of re-entrant arrhythmias in the past 30 years has allowed the development of almost curative therapies for many rhythm disturbances. The complex, polymorphic arrhythmias of atrial fibrillation (AF) and sudden death are, unfortunately, not yet well understood, and hence still in need of adequate therapy. AF contributes markedly to morbidity and mortality in aging Western populations. In the past decade, many genetically altered murine models have been described and characterized. Here, we review genetically altered murine models of AF; powerful tools that will enable a better understanding of the mechanisms of AF and the assessment of novel therapeutic interventions.
Keywords: atrial fibrillation; atrial tachycardia; cardiac function; electrocardiogram; electrophysiology; mouse heart; murine model; sick sinus syndrome.