Early afterdepolarizations and cardiac arrhythmias

James N. Weiss, Alan Garfinkel, Hrayr S. Karagueuzian, Peng Sheng Chen, Zhilin Qu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

172 Scopus citations


Early afterdepolarizations (EADs) are an important cause of lethal ventricular arrhythmias in long QT syndromes and heart failure, but the mechanisms by which EADs at the cellular scale cause arrhythmias such as polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (PVT) and torsades de pointes (TdP) at the tissue scale are not well understood. Here we summarize recent progress in this area, discussing (1) the ionic basis of EADs, (2) evidence that deterministic chaos underlies the irregular behavior of EADs, (3) mechanisms by which chaotic EADs synchronize in large numbers of coupled cells in tissue to overcome sourcesink mismatches, (4) how this synchronization process allows EADs to initiate triggers and generate mixed focal reentrant ventricular arrhythmias underlying PVT and TdP, and (5) therapeutic implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1891-1899
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Afterdepolarization
  • Arrhythmia
  • Chaos synchronization
  • Computer modeling
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Systems biology
  • Torsades de pointes
  • Triggered activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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    Weiss, J. N., Garfinkel, A., Karagueuzian, H. S., Chen, P. S., & Qu, Z. (2010). Early afterdepolarizations and cardiac arrhythmias. Heart Rhythm, 7(12), 1891-1899. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2010.09.017