Portrait image of Stavros Stavrakis

Stavros Stavrakis

Associate Professor of Medicine; Laureate Chair in Molecular Medicine; Vice Chief, Cardiovascular Section

Cardiovascular Section, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, US

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Dr Stavrakis is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He is also the Director of Cardiovascular Research at the University of Oklahoma. Dr Stavrakis’ research has focused on autonomic modulation for the treatment of arrhythmias and other cardiovascular diseases, in both animal models and humans. The significance of this work is being increasingly recognised and he has been invited to present in national and international meetings on this topic, including a multidisciplinary workshop, organised by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health Office of the Director, on “Autonomic Neural Mechanisms of Cardiopulmonary Regulation.

Dr Stavrakis conducted the first-in-human study which showed suppression of atrial fibrillation and decrease in serum inflammatory cytokines with transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) after one hour of stimulation. These results support the use of tragus stimulation as a novel non-pharmacological treatment modality for atrial fibrillation and other cardiovascular conditions. His work over the last 12 years culminated in a first-in-human randomised clinical trial examining the effect of chronic tVNS in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, which demonstrated a significant decrease in atrial fibrillation burden compared to sham stimulation over 6 months. He also demonstrated that chronic tVNS significantly improved diastolic function and attenuated left ventricular inflammation and fibrosis in an animal model of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). These results were translated in a recently published, randomised, sham-controlled clinical trial, which indicated that tVNS over 3 months resulted in a significant improvement in cardiac function, inflammatory cytokines, and quality of life in patients with HFpEF. His current, NIH-funded work includes optimisation of patient selection and stimulation parameters for autonomic modulation techniques based on novel ECG and blood biomarkers. 

Articles by Stavros Stavrakis, Associate Professor of Medicine; Laureate Chair in Molecular Medicine; Vice Chief, Cardiovascular Section

Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Simulation in Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Praloy Chakraborty, Kassem Farhat, Lynsie Morris, et al


Citation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review 2023;12:e31.

Authors’ Reply: Origins of Ablation of Bradyarrhythmias

Stavros Stavrakis, Sunny Po,

Citation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review 2018;7(2):144.

Ganglionated Plexi Ablation: Physiology and Clinical Applications

Stavros Stavrakis, Sunny Po,

Citation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review 2017;6(4):186–90.


Atrial fibrillation; autonomic nervous system; autonomic modulation; dysautonomia; wearables