Straight to the heart: Pleiotropic antiarrhythmic actions of oral anticoagulants.


Institute of Pharmacology, West-German Heart and Vascular Center, Faculty of Medicine, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


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.


Anticoagulants,Atrial fibrillation,Calcium,Protease-activated receptors,Stroke,Thrombin,