Autoimmune diseases (ADs) affect approximately 10% of the world’s population. Because ADs are frequently systemic disorders, cardiac involvement is common. In this review we focus on typical arrhythmias and their pathogenesis, arrhythmia-associated mortality, and possible treatment options among selected ADs (sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, type 1 diabetes, Graves’ disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis [AS], psoriasis, celiac disease [CD], and inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]). Rhythm disorders have different underlying pathophysiologies; myocardial inflammation and fibrosis seem to be the most important factors. Inflammatory processes and oxidative stress lead to cardiomyocyte necrosis, with subsequent electrical and structural remodeling. Furthermore, chronic inflammation is the pathophysiological basis linking AD to autonomic dysfunction, including sympathetic overactivation and a decline in parasympathetic function. Autoantibody-mediated inhibitory effects of cellular events (i.e., potassium or L-type calcium currents, Mmuscarinic cholinergic or β-adrenergic receptor signaling) can also lead to cardiac arrhythmia. Drug-induced arrhythmias, caused, for example, by corticosteroids, methotrexate, chloroquine, are also observed among AD patients. The most common arrhythmia in most AD presentations is atrial arrhythmia (primarily atrial fibrillation), expect for sarcoidosis and scleroderma, which are characterized by a higher burden of ventricular arrhythmia. Arrhythmia-associated mortality is highest among patients with sarcoidosis and lowest among those with AS; there are scant data related to mortality in patients with psoriasis, CD, and IBD.
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