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The use of low-level electromagnetic fields to suppress atrial fibrillation

Published by Pub Med

By Lilei Yu, John W Dyer, Benjamin J Scherlag, Stavros Stavrakis, Yong Sha, Xia Sheng, Paul Garabelli, Jerry Jacobson, Sunny S Po 

Background: Extremely low-level electromagnetic fields have been proposed to cause significant changes in neural networks.

Objective: We sought to investigate whether low-level electromagnetic fields can suppress atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods: In 17 pentobarbital anesthetized dogs, bilateral thoracotomies allowed the placement of multielectrode catheters in both atria and at all pulmonary veins. AF was induced by rapid atrial pacing (RAP) or programmed atrial extrastimulation. At baseline and end of each hour of RAP, during sinus rhythm, atrial programmed stimulation gave both the effective refractory period (ERP) and the width of the window of vulnerability. The latter was a measure of AF inducibility. Microelectrodes inserted into the anterior right ganglionated plexi recorded neural firing. Helmholtz coils were powered by a function generator inducing an electromagnetic field (EMF; 0.034 μG, 0.952 Hz). The study sample was divided into 2 groups: group 1 (n = 7)-application of EMF to both cervical vagal trunks; group 2 (n = 10)-application of EMF across the chest so that the heart was located in the center of the coil.

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