Arrhythmogenic Remodeling in the Failing Heart

Cells. 2021 Nov 17;10(11):3203. doi: 10.3390/cells10113203.


Chronic heart failure is a clinical syndrome with multiple etiologies, associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Cardiac arrhythmias, including ventricular tachyarrhythmias and atrial fibrillation, are common in heart failure. A number of cardiac diseases including heart failure alter the expression and regulation of ion channels and transporters leading to arrhythmogenic electrical remodeling. Myocardial hypertrophy, fibrosis and scar formation are key elements of arrhythmogenic structural remodeling in heart failure. In this article, the mechanisms responsible for increased arrhythmia susceptibility as well as the underlying changes in ion channel, transporter expression and function as well as alterations in calcium handling in heart failure are discussed. Understanding the mechanisms of arrhythmogenic remodeling is key to improving arrhythmia management and the prevention of sudden cardiac death in patients with heart failure.

Keywords: arrhythmias; atrial fibrillation; calcium handling; heart failure; potassium currents; remodeling; sudden cardiac death; ventricular fibrillation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnostic imaging
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology*
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Ventricular Remodeling / physiology*