QUest for the Arrhythmogenic Substrate of Atrial fibRillation in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery (QUASAR Study): Rationale and Design
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The heterogeneous presentation and progression of atrial fibrillation (AF) implicate the existence of different pathophysiological processes. Individualized diagnosis and therapy of the arrhythmogenic substrate underlying AF may be required to improve treatment outcomes. Therefore, this single-center study aims to identify the arrhythmogenic areas underlying AF by intra-operative, high-resolution, multi-site epicardial mapping in 600 patients with different heart diseases. Participants are divided into 12 groups according to the underlying heart diseases and presence of prior AF episodes. Mapping is performed with a 192-electrode array for 510 s during sinus rhythm and (induced) AF of the entire atrial surface. Local activation times are converted into activation and wave maps from which various electrophysiological parameters are derived. Postoperative cardiac rhythm registrations and a 5-year follow-up will show the incidence of postoperative and persistent AF. This project provides the first step in the development of a tool for individual AF diagnosis and treatment.