Can triggered arrhythmias arise from propagation of Ca2+ waves between cardiac cells?

Amanda F. Nahhas, Manvinder S. Kumar, Matthew J. O'Toole, Gary L. Aistrup, J. Andrew Wasserstrom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Intracellular Ca2+ overload can induce regenerative Ca 2+ waves that activate inward current in cardiac myocytes, allowing the cell membrane to achieve threshold. The result is a triggered extrasystole that can, under the right conditions, lead to sustained triggered arrhythmias. In this review, we consider the issue of whether or not Ca2+ waves can travel between neighboring myocytes and if this intercellular Ca 2+ diffusion can involve enough cells over a short enough period of time to actually induce triggered activity in the heart. This review is not intended to serve as an exhaustive review of the literature summarizing Ca 2+ flux through cardiac gap junctions or of how Ca2+ waves move from cell to cell. Rather, it summarizes many of the pertinent experimental studies and considers their results in the theoretical context of whether or not the intercellular propagation of Ca2+ overload can contribute to triggered beats and arrhythmias in the intact heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-899
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Elite
Volume5 E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Arrhythmias
  • Calcium waves
  • Delayed afterdepolarizations
  • Intracellular calcium overload
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Can triggered arrhythmias arise from propagation of Ca2+ waves between cardiac cells?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this