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Antzelevitch C.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory
Circulation Journal | Year: 2012

An early repolarization (ER) pattern in the ECG, distinguished by J-point elevation, slurring of the terminal part of the QRS and ST-segment elevation has long been recognized and considered to be a benign electrocardiographic manifestation. Experimental studies conducted over a decade ago suggested that some cases of ER may be associated with malignant arrhythmias. Validation of this hypothesis was provided by recent studies demonstrating that an ER pattern in the inferior or inferolateral leads is associated with increased risk for life-threatening arrhythmias, termed ER syndrome (ERS). Because accentuated J waves characterize both Brugada syndrome (BS) and ERS, these syndromes have been grouped under the term "J wave syndromes". ERS and BS share similar ECG characteristics, clinical outcomes and risk factors, as well as a common arrhythmic platform related to amplification of Itomediated J waves. Although BS and ERS differ with respect to the magnitude and lead location of abnormal J wave manifestation, they can be considered to represent a continuous spectrum of phenotypic expression. Although most subjects exhibiting an ER pattern are at minimal to no risk, mounting evidence suggests that careful attention should be paid to subjects with "high risk" ER. The challenge ahead is to be able to identify those at risk for sudden cardiac death. Here I review the clinical and genetic aspects as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the J wave syndromes. Source


Antzelevitch C.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory
Journal of Electrocardiology | Year: 2013

An early repolarization (ER) pattern in the ECG, consisting of J point elevation, distinct J wave with or without ST segment elevation or slurring of the terminal part of the QRS, was long considered a benign electrocardiographic manifestation. Experimental studies a dozen years ago suggested that an ER is not always benign, but may be associated with malignant arrhythmias. Validation of this hypothesis derives from recent case-control and population-based studies showing that an ER pattern in inferior or infero-lateral leads is associated with increased risk for life-threatening arrhythmias, termed early repolarization syndrome (ERS). Because accentuated J waves characterize both Brugada syndrome (BrS) and ERS, these syndromes have been grouped under the heading of J wave syndromes. BrS and ERS appear to share common ECG characteristics, clinical outcomes, risk factors as well as a common arrhythmic platform related to amplification of Ito-mediated J waves. However, they differ with respect to the magnitude and lead location of abnormal J waves and can be considered to represent a continuous spectrum of phenotypic expression. Recent studies support the hypothesis that BrS and ERS are caused by a preferential accentuation of the AP notch in right or left ventricular epicardium, respectively, and that this repolarization defect is accentuated by cholinergic agonists. Quinidine, cilostazol and isoproterenol exert ameliorative effects by reversing these repolarization abnormalities. Identifying subjects truly at risk is the challenge ahead. Our goal here is to review the clinical and genetic aspects as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the J wave syndromes. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source


Burashnikov A.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory | Sicouri S.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory | Di Diego J.M.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory | Belardinelli L.,Gilead Sciences | Antzelevitch C.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2010

Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a combination of dronedarone and ranolazine in suppression of atrial fibrillation (AF). Background Safe and effective pharmacological management of AF remains one of the greatest unmet medical needs. Methods The electrophysiological effects of dronedarone (10 μmol/l) and a relatively low concentration of ranolazine (5 μmol/l) separately and in combination were evaluated in canine isolated coronary-perfused right and left atrial and left ventricular preparations as well as in pulmonary vein preparations. Results Ranolazine caused moderate atrial-selective prolongation of action potential duration and atrial-selective depression of sodium channelmediated parameters, including maximal rate of rise of the action potential upstroke, leading to the development of atrial-specific post-repolarization refractoriness. Dronedarone caused little or no change in electrophysiological parameters in both atrial and ventricular preparations. The combination of dronedarone and ranolazine caused little change in action potential duration in either chamber but induced potent use-dependent atrial-selective depression of the sodium channelmediated parameters (maximal rate of rise of the action potential upstroke, diastolic threshold of excitation, and the shortest cycle length permitting a 1:1 response) and considerable post-repolarization refractoriness. Separately, dronedarone or a low concentration of ranolazine prevented the induction of AF in 17% and 29% of preparations, respectively. In combination, the 2 drugs suppressed AF and triggered activity and prevented the induction of AF in 9 of 10 preparations (90%). Conclusions Low concentrations of ranolazine and dronedarone produce relatively weak electrophysiological effects and weak suppression of AF when used separately but when combined exert potent synergistic effects, resulting in atrial-selective depression of sodium channeldependent parameters and effective suppression of AF. © 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Source


Antzelevitch C.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory | Yan G.-X.,Heart Health | Yan G.-X.,Jefferson Medical College | Yan G.-X.,Xian Jiaotong University
Heart Rhythm | Year: 2010

The J wave, also referred to as an Osborn wave, is a deflection immediately following the QRS complex of the surface ECG. When partially buried in the R wave, the J wave appears as J-point elevation or ST-segment elevation. Several lines of evidence have suggested that arrhythmias associated with an early repolarization pattern in the inferior or mid to lateral precordial leads, Brugada syndrome, or arrhythmias associated with hypothermia and the acute phase of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction are mechanistically linked to abnormalities in the manifestation of the transient outward current (Ito)-mediated J wave. Although Brugada syndrome and early repolarization syndrome differ with respect to the magnitude and lead location of abnormal J-wave manifestation, they can be considered to represent a continuous spectrum of phenotypic expression that we propose be termed J-wave syndromes. This review summarizes our current state of knowledge concerning J-wave syndromes, bridging basic and clinical aspects. We propose to divide early repolarization syndrome into three subtypes: type 1, which displays an early repolarization pattern predominantly in the lateral precordial leads, is prevalent among healthy male athletes and is rarely seen in ventricular fibrillation survivors; type 2, which displays an early repolarization pattern predominantly in the inferior or inferolateral leads, is associated with a higher level of risk; and type 3, which displays an early repolarization pattern globally in the inferior, lateral, and right precordial leads, is associated with the highest level of risk for development of malignant arrhythmias and is often associated with ventricular fibrillation storms. © 2010 Heart Rhythm Society. Source


Burashnikov A.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory | Antzelevitch C.,Masonic Medical Research Laboratory
Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2011

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a growing clinical problem associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Development of safe and effective pharmacological treatments for AF is one of the greatest unmet medical needs facing our society. In spite of significant progress in non-pharmacological AF treatments (largely due to the use of catheter ablation techniques), anti-arrhythmic agents (AADs) remain first line therapy for rhythm control management of AF for most AF patients. When considering efficacy, safety and tolerability, currently available AADs for rhythm control of AF are less than optimal. Ion channel inhibition remains the principal strategy for termination of AF and prevention of its recurrence. Practical clinical experience indicates that multi-ion channel blockers are generally more optimal for rhythm control of AF compared to ion channel-selective blockers. Recent studies suggest that atrial-selective sodium channel block can lead to safe and effective suppression of AF and that concurrent inhibition of potassium ion channels may potentiate this effect. An important limitation of the ion channel block approach for AF treatment is that non-electrical factors (largely structural remodeling) may importantly determine the generation of AF, so that "upstream therapy", aimed at preventing or reversing structural remodeling, may be required for effective rhythm control management. This review focuses on novel pharmacological targets for the rhythm control management of AF. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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