Cardiac Sympathetic Nerve Sprouting and Susceptibility to Ventricular Arrhythmias After Myocardial Infarction

Cardiol Res Pract. 2015;2015:698368. doi: 10.1155/2015/698368. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


Ventricular arrhythmogenesis is thought to be a common cause of sudden cardiac death following myocardial infarction (MI). Nerve remodeling as a result of MI is known to be an important genesis of life-threatening arrhythmias. It is hypothesized that neural modulation might serve as a therapeutic option of malignant arrhythmias. In fact, left stellectomy or β-blocker therapy is shown to be effective in the prevention of ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VT), ventricular fibrillation (VF), and sudden cardiac death (SCD) after MI both in patients and in animal models. Results from decades of research already evidenced a positive relationship between abnormal nerve density and ventricular arrhythmias after MI. In this review, we summarized the molecular mechanisms involved in cardiac sympathetic rejuvenation and mechanisms related to sympathetic hyperinnervation and arrhythmogenesis after MI and analyzed the potential therapeutic implications of nerve sprouting modification for ventricular arrhythmias and SCD control.

Publication types

  • Review