In-silico assessment of the dynamic effects of amiodarone and dronedarone on human atrial patho-electrophysiology

Axel Loewe, Yannick Lutz, Mathias Wilhelms, Daniel Sinnecker, Petra Barthel, Eberhard P. Scholz, Olaf Dössel, Georg Schmidt, Gunnar Seemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Aims: The clinical efficacy in preventing the recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is higher for amiodarone than for dronedarone. Moreover, pharmacotherapy with these drugs is less successful in patients with remodelled substrate induced by chronic AF (cAF) and patients suffering from familial AF. To date, the reasons for these phenomena are only incompletely understood. We analyse the effects of the drugs in a computational model of atrial electrophysiology. Methods and results: The Courtemanche-Ramirez-Nattel model was adapted to represent cAF remodelled tissue and hERG mutations N588K and L532P. The pharmacodynamics of amiodarone and dronedarone were investigated with respect to their dose and heart rate dependence by evaluating 10 descriptors of action potential morphology and conduction properties. An arrhythmia score was computed based on a subset of these biomarkers and analysed regarding circadian variation of drug concentration and heart rate. Action potential alternans at high frequencies was observed over the whole dronedarone concentration range at high frequencies, while amiodarone caused alternans only in a narrow range. The total score of dronedarone reached critical values in most of the investigated dynamic scenarios, while amiodarone caused only minor score oscillations. Compared with the other substrates, cAF showed significantly different characteristics resulting in a lower amiodarone but higher dronedarone concentration yielding the lowest score. Conclusion: Significant differences exist in the frequency and concentration-dependent effects between amiodarone and dronedarone and between different atrial substrates. Our results provide possible explanations for the superior efficacy of amiodarone and may aid in the design of substrate-specific pharmacotherapy for AF. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)iv30-iv38
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Amiodarone
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Dronedarone
  • Drug safety
  • Mathematical model


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