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Cardiac electrophysiology and heart rhythm disturbances 

Cardiac electrophysiology and heart rhythm disturbances
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date: 25 July 2021

Selecting a short list of landmark basic science and epidemiology papers in the field of cardiac electrophysiology for this chapter has been no easy task. For every paper listed in the following section, we have had to leave out several other equally important, high-impact papers. To help narrow down the list, we have had to come up with a restrictive definition of what makes a landmark paper.

Here we describe basic science and epidemiology papers that are not only of high impact in terms of introducing novel concepts and opening up new fields of research, but these are papers that also have clear clinical implications that a reader can relate to. These clinical implications include the introduction of novel therapeutic agents or targets, the introduction of new diagnostic tools, or the changing of clinical practice in terms of the way we view, approach, and manage a particular disease.

As a result of these strict definitions, we have had to leave out many key papers that have introduced important electrophysiological concepts. These include the work of Antzelevitch and colleagues in investigating the transmural differences in electrophysiological properties between epicardial and endocardial cells and the discovery of M cells, and the work of Kleber and colleagues on the novel concept of source-sink mismatch, to name but a few.

In order to ensure that we present a good spread of papers that cover a wide range of electrophysiogical concepts and clinical arrhythmias, we have selected a single landmark paper for each of the subcategories listed below, so that these landmark papers cover a range of clinical entities such as atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, and inherited arrhythmia syndromes, different arrhythmia determinants, such as ionic currents, gap junctional coupling, and intracellular calcium, as well as important epidemiological studies.

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