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Doctor insights on: Atrial Fibrillation

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Dr. John Garner
1,802 doctors shared insights

Atrial Fibrillation (Overview)

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.


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What are the tests for atrial fibrillation?

What are the tests for atrial fibrillation?

Electrocardiogram: If the atrial fibrillation is ongoing then an electrocardiogram will show it. If it only occurs from time to time, then there are different types of monitors that a patient can use at home to record the heart rhythm; this is another type of electrocardiogram sometimes referred to as an event recorder. ...Read more

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Dr. John Garner
1,802 doctors shared insights

Atrial Fibrillation (Overview)

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.


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What are the treatments for atrial fibrillation?

What are the treatments for atrial fibrillation?

It Varies.: The most important treatment is stroke prevention, which is usually done by medications (aspirin or warfarin). Sometimes rate control medications are used, like metoprolol. If the af is severe enough, stronger anti-arrhythmic medications are used, like propafenone. If these do not work, catheter ablation may be recommended. Pacemaker and av-node ablation may be used as a last resort. ...Read more

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What are the common symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

What are the common symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Sometimes none: Highly variable: some people are entirely unaware. Others feel their heart beating irregularly or "fluttering" & may notice rapid heart rate. Commonly people notice fatigue and their exercise capacity is mildly reduced. Sedentary people usually don't notice any change. Younger people & folks with their 1st bout tend to be more aware. Frequent bouts and older people are less likely to notice. ...Read more

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Who is at risk for atrial fibrillation?

Read...: As per epocrates: CAD (coronary disease) hypertension, heart failure, valvular disease, pericardial and pleural diseases, diabetes, thyroid disorders, disorders of the lung, and advanced age are known risk factors for the development of acute af. However, af may occur in the absence of any underlying cardiac or noncardiac diseases, for example, as a result of heavy alcohol intake. ...Read more

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How does atrial fibrillation with ventricular standstill differ from fine v-fib?

How does atrial fibrillation with ventricular standstill differ from fine v-fib?

AF vs vf: Good question, they could look alike on ECG. Both would also result in cardiac arrest. As no perfusion would result, one would expect AF waves to be less visible than VF very quickly. If arrest had been present for say more than 30sec. , VF would be more likely as the AF waves should likely not be visible. ...Read more

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What is atrial fibrillation a symptom of?

What is atrial fibrillation a symptom of?

It depends: Atrial fibrillation is an irregular rhythm in which the atria beat at nearly 400 beats/min. It is common in older patients as a reflection of aging of the conduction system. In younger patients it can be caused by alcohol and drug abuse. It can also occur when the heart dilates as in congestive heart failure. The abnormal contractions put patients at risk for blood clots which may cause strokes. ...Read more

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What are the common symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Sometimes none: Highly variable: some people are entirely unaware. Others feel their heart beating irregularly or "fluttering" & may notice rapid heart rate. Commonly people notice fatigue and their exercise capacity is mildly reduced. Sedentary people usually don't notice any change. Younger people & folks with their 1st bout tend to be more aware. Frequent bouts and older people are less likely to notice. ...Read more

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How is atrial fibrillation treated?

Medications: There are a variety of medications which can either control the heart rate or convert the rhythm back to normal. Sometimes cardioversion is used to correct the heart rhythm. Also in some cases ablation can be done which will correct the abnormal rhythm. ...Read more

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Funny how a diagnosis doesn't mean much till you have it. What is atrial fibrillation?

Funny how a diagnosis doesn't mean much till you have it. What is atrial fibrillation?

Electrical chaos: The electrical impulses in the upper chambers of your heart (mostly originating from the left side) are completely chaotic leading to a quivering motion of these chambers instead of their typical, coordinated pumping function. The lower chambers beat erratically, as the electrical impulses bombard them in a haphazard way. See a cardiologist or an elelctrophysiologist. ...Read more

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Fibrillation (Definition)

Fibrillation is the rapid, irregular, and unsynchronized contraction of muscle fibers. An important occurrence is with ...Read more