MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical regulators of most major cellular processes and seem to play a vital role in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases including atrial fibrillation, the most commonly encountered cardiac rhythm disorder. Among the several miRNAs that appear to be involved in pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation, miRNA 208a is linked to fibrosis and proper cardiac conduction. We quantified the expression levels of miRNA 208a in left atrial appendage tissue of patients with paroxysmal (n=2), persistent (n=10), and long-standing persistent (n=7) arrhythmia using quantitative PCR. In paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, miRNA 208a was expressed moderately, whereas the expression was enhanced in persistent atrial fibrillation and significantly reduced in long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation. The difference between persistent and long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation was significant at p=0.02. The findings from our study suggest a decline in miRNA 208a expression with ongoing arrhythmia, possibly preceded by a rise in expression from paroxysmal to persistent atrial fibrillation or even long-standing persistent. The significant changes in miRNA 208a expression over the course of the disease may be used as an additional diagnostic tool to monitor the progression of atrial fibrillation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number325
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Cardiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2014


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