Late Sodium Current Inhibition: The Most Promising Antiarrhythmic Principle in the Near Future?
Ranolazine has primarily been developed and so far approved as an antianginal drug. However, it also has potentially
interesting and relevant antiarrhythmic properties. Its antiarrhythmic effects are mainly based on the blockade of
sodium currents, in particular of the late sodium current. Experimental and clinical studies have revealed an antiarrhythmic
effect of ranolazine in atrial fibrillation as chronic or “pill in the pocket” therapy. Of note, this effect was preserved in
the setting of chronic heart failure. Furthermore, an antiarrhythmic effect has also been shown in experimental models of
ventricular tachyarrhythmias. In addition, prevention of ventricular tachyarrhythmias has been demonstrated in patients
with structural heart disease. A few late sodium current inhibitors are evaluated for antiarrhythmic properties in experimental
studies. However, randomized clinical data is not yet available for these recently developed agents and larger controlled
trials are necessary before recommending ranozaline as a novel antiarrhythmic drug.
Keywords: Atrial fibrillation, late sodium current, post-repolarization refractoriness, proarrhythmia, ranolazine, ventricular
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