A Simple Porcine Model of Inducible Sustained Atrial Fibrillation

Anson M. Lee, Jacob R. Miller, Rochus K. Voeller, Andreas Zierer, Shelly C. Lall, Richard B. Schuessler, Ralph J. Damiano, Spencer J. Melby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The surgical management of atrial fibrillation (AF) is an evolving field with a history of testing various lesion sets and ablation technologies. Previous animal models of AF require a chronic intervention to make AF reliably inducible. Our objective was to create an acute, reliable, and reproducible porcine model of sustained AF. To accomplish this, 21 adult domestic pigs underwent median sternotomy. Methods: to induce AF were then performed sequentially: manual stimulation, rapid pacing (200 beats per minute), and then rapid pacing of 8 beats with a cycle length of 300 milliseconds, followed by an extra stimulus at decreasing cycle lengths. If AF was not induced, burst pacing was performed at a cycle length of 90 milliseconds for 30 seconds. If AF was still not induced, intravenous neostigmine was administered, and the process was repeated. Atrial fibrillation was considered sustained after 1 minute. Attempts at AF induction were successful in 18 (86%) of 21. Atrial fibrillation was induced during manual stimulation in four (19%), during rapid pacing in five (24%), during burst pacing in five (24%), and after the administration of neostigmine in four (19%). Mean (SD) duration of AF was 3.6 (2.6) minutes. Of the 18, 14 (78%) reverted to sinus rhythm spontaneously and 4 (22%) required an antiarrhythmic. This technique of inducing AF can easily be used to evaluate new technologies and lesion sets without the need for creating a chronic animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-78
Number of pages3
JournalInnovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Animal model
  • Arrhythmia surgery
  • Atrial fibrillation


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