Information theory and Atrial Fibrillation (AF): A review

Dhani Dharmaprani, Lukah Dykes, Andrew D. McGavigan, Pawel Kuklik, Kenneth Pope, Anand N. Ganesan

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13 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac rhythm disorder seen in hospitals and in general practice, accounting for up to a third of arrhythmia related hospitalizations. Unfortunately, AF treatment is in practice complicated by the lack of understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying the arrhythmia, which makes detection of effective ablation targets particularly difficult. Various approaches to AF mapping have been explored in the hopes of better pinpointing these effective targets, such as Dominant Frequency (DF) analysis, complex fractionated electrograms (CFAE) and unipolar reconstruction (FIRM), but many of these methods have produced conflicting results or require further investigation. Exploration of AF using information theoretic-based approaches may have the potential to provide new insights into the complex system dynamics of AF, whilst also providing the benefit of being less reliant on empirically derived definitions in comparison to alternate mapping approaches. This work provides an overview of information theory and reviews its applications in AF analysis, with particular focus on AF mapping. The works discussed in this review demonstrate how understanding AF from a signal property perspective can provide new insights into the arrhythmic phenomena, which may have valuable clinical implications for AF mapping and ablation in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number957
Number of pages19
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Frontiers is fully compliant with open access mandates, by publishing its articles under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY). Funder mandates such as those by the Wellcome Trust (UK), National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Australian Research Council (Australia) are fully compatible with publishing in Frontiers. Authors retain copyright of their work and can deposit their publication in any repository. The work can be freely shared and adapted provided that appropriate credit is given and any changes specified.


  • AF mapping
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Entropy
  • Information theory


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