Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice. A variety of animal models have been used to study the pathophysiology of AF, including molecular basis, ion-current determinants, anatomical features, and macroscopic mechanisms. In addition, animal models play a key role in the development of new therapeutic approaches, whether drug-based, molecular therapeutics, or device-related. This article discusses the various types of animal models that have been used for AF research, reviews the principle mechanisms governing atrial arrhythmias in each model, and provides some guidelines for model selection for various purposes.
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