​ ​ ​ ​

March 2017

​ ​
​ ​
​ ​ ​

Disruption of cardiac cholinergic neurons enhances susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias, Nature Communications 8 (2017), Article number: 14155 (2017) doi:10.1038/ncomms14155, DZHK authors: Jungen, Scherschel, Eickholt, Klatt, Bork, Willems, Nikolaev, Meyer

Catheter ablation is increasingly the therapy of choice in patients with atrial fibrillation. During ablation of the tissue, parasympathetic cholinergic neurons of the atria are invariably destroyed. Up to now it was assumed that parasympathetic neurons in the tissue of the ventricles played virtually no role. Using various methods, DZHK investigators from the Hamburg-Kiel-Lübeck partner site were able to prove otherwise and showed that the modulation of parasympathetic cholinergic neurons leads to altered electrophysiology of the ventricles and, in isolated cases, can be associated with increased incidence of ventricular extrasystoles. The researchers report their findings in Nature Communications. Their results demonstrate the impact of cholinergic neurons on ventricular electrophysiology and could contribute to making catheter ablation even safer with fewer side effects.