Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which control of heart rhythm is taken away from the normal sinus node pacemaker by rapid activity in different areas within the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. This results in rapid and irregular atrial activity and, instead of contracting, the atria only quiver. It is the most common cardiac rhythm disturbance and contributes substantially to cardiac morbidity and mortality. For over 50 years, the prevailing model of atrial fibrillation involved multiple simultaneous re-entrant waves, but in light of new discoveries this hypothesis is now undergoing re-evaluation.
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* Please note: a correction has been made to reference 58 in this paper. The printed version was published with a misspelt name.
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