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A 36-year-old member asked:

Why does atrial fibrillation cause strokes?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Fenster
Cardiology 32 years experience
Clot formation: Because blood in the left atrium is not propelled forward normally during atiral fibrillation, it allows for the formation of clots. Small areas of blood pooling resembling little eddy currents allow blood to slow down and form clots. If one of these clots is then propelled forward it can travel to the brain, become lodged in a blood vessel and cause a stroke.A clot the size of a pinhead can do it.
Dr. John Garner
Cardiology 17 years experience
Standstill: The extremely rapid rates of atrial fibrillation are in fact so fast that they create two problems: the top chamber is not mechanically moving very far at all, so it cannot shake clots loose, in the overactive atrial tissue secretes chemicals which increase the likelihood of clot formation. These processes come together to substantially increase stroke risk.

Similar questions

A 39-year-old member asked:

Am i at an increased risk of stroke? With atrial fibrillation, am i at increased risk of having a stroke?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 42 years experience
Yes, : Yes, atrial fibrillation increases the chances of having a stroke because there is an increased risk of blood clots forming in the heart which can then travel to the brain. The risk is proportional to the amount of other stroke risk factors. In other words, the increased risk is small in people without other health conditions, but risk increases with additional risk factors such as advancing age, hypertension, diabetes, heart failure and if there has been a prior stroke. You should talk to your doctor about your stroke risk if you have atrial fibrillation. If the risk is moderate or high, this would warrant taking the blood thinner warfarin. If the stroke risk is small, you should at least take an aspirin.
CA
A 23-year-old member asked:

Can atrial fibrillation cause ed?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jesse Mills
Urology 21 years experience
No: Afib cannot directly cause ed. Medicines used to treat afib can impair erections and conditions associated with afib such as heart failure, coronary disease also can cause ed.

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Last updated Oct 24, 2017

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