Mechanistic understanding of atrial fibrillation (AF) pathophysiology and the complex bidirectional relationship with thromboembolic risk remains limited. Oral anticoagulation is a mainstay of AF management. An emerging concept is that anticoagulants may themselves have potential pleiotropic disease-modifying effects. We here review the available evidence for hemostasis-independent actions of the oral anticoagulants on electrical and structural remodeling, and the inflammatory component of the vulnerable substrate.
Keywords: Anticoagulants; Atrial fibrillation; Calcium; Protease-activated receptors; Stroke; Thrombin.
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