Renal denervation: effects on atrial electrophysiology and arrhythmias

Dominik Linz*, Arne van Hunnik, Christian Ukena, Sebastian Ewen, Felix Mahfoud, Stephan H. Schirmer, Matthias Lenski, Hans-Ruprecht Neuberger, Ulrich Schotten, Michael Boehm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Currently, atrial endocardial catheter ablation, mainly targeting focal discharges in the pulmonary veins, is the most widely used interventional treatment of drug-refractory AF. Despite technical improvements, results are not yet optimal. There is ongoing search for alternative and/or complementary interventional targets. Conditions associated with increased sympathetic activation such as hypertension, heart failure and sleep apnea lead to structural, neural and electrophysiological changes in the atrium thereby contributing to the progression from paroxysmal to persistent AF and increasing recurrence rate of AF after PVI. Until now, interventional modulation of autonomic nervous system was limited by highly invasive techniques. Catheter-based renal denervation (RDN) was introduced as a minimally invasive approach to reduce renal and whole body sympathetic activation with accompanying blood pressure control and left-ventricular morphological and functional changes in resistant hypertension. This review focuses on the potential atrial antiarrhythmic and antiremodeling effects of RDN in AF patients with hypertension, heart failure, and sleep apnea and discusses the possible role of RDN in the treatment of AF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-774
JournalClinical research in cardiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Renal denervation
  • Hypertension
  • Heart failure
  • Sleep apnea


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