Doctor insights on:
Can Atrial Fibrillation Resolve Itself
After CABG why is atrial fibrillation common even in people without a history? Does it resolve by discharge and if not do these patients get discharged on certain medications?
Inflammation: The cause of post CABG A Fib is not exactly known but it is strongly suspected that inflammation on an immune basis is a major player since post op AFib is also commonly noted following chest procedures that has nothing to do with the heart. An antiarhytmic medicine is often prescribed as long as it is wlell tolerated by the patient. If the AF persists after discharge, then cardioversion is consid ...Read more
Arrhythmias: Atrial fibrillation (afib) is the most common sustained rhythm abnormality. It's characterized by an irregular heart rate. The upper chambers of the heart (atrium) do not beat but quiver. Many people don't notice it. But many do. It can lead to strokes in some patients so blood thinners are important. It can be treated with medications, ablation thru iv's in the groin or surgery. See a cardiologis. ...Read more
Atrial fibrillation: Atrial fibrillation, or afib, is a very common rhythm disturbance, the most common in this country. It is most often associated with hypertension, but can also be associated with valvular disease specifically mitral valve disease. It can be treated with either rate control or converting back to the normal sinus rhythm. Patient are often placed on blood thinners to prevent complications. ...Read more
It can be: If afib is difficult to treat ie unable to convert patient to normal rythm or unable to slow rate down with medicines, or perhapse the patient can't tolerate the medications to treat the problem, a person can be disabled. Pts with pre existing heart problems may not tolerate afib as well. Ablation therapy is not always effective and some patients may need a pacemaker. Just depends on pt ...Read more
Only if…: Only if the atrial rate is conducted in a very rapid fashion to the lower chamber. Your heart has built-in protection to keep this from happening. However, patients with a condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White sometimes lack this protection and under the right circumstances can die as a result of atrial fibrillation. ...Read more
EKG /Physical exam: Different ways. Listening to the heart there is obvious irregular rhythm with irregular rate. The electrocardiogram is diagnostic. Some times atrial fibrillation may appeared transiently or paroxystically. A holter monitor or cardiac monitor could show the characteristic features of the EKG changes. ...Read more
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
Food can affect meds: Afib is a rythm that can be very fast and can cause a stroke from blod clots going to the brain. Many patients are on Coumadin (warfarin) a blood thinner that works through vitamin k. So if the patient eats green leafy veges and other foods high in vitamin k, it can reverse the Coumadin (warfarin) and make pt suseptable to stroke. Foods and items high in caffiene like coffee chocolate etc can stimulate the heart rate. ...Read more
It depends on: A number of factors. Most people will feel an irregular and skipping or racing sensation in their chest. If the heart rate is too fast or the heart is very weak, you may feel short of breath, weak or even chest pressure. Many people have atrial fibrillation with no obvious symptoms. ...Read more
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
Depends: New onset atrial fibrillation is often self limited, going away by itself. But the cause dictates the subsequent course. Thus treating things like high blood pressure, heart valve disease, heart failure, over active thyroid hormones, coronary disease, and avoiding alcohol may be important. Some drugs are useful to maintain rate and rhythm. If needed, electric shock (cardioversion) is effective. ...Read more
Heart rate / stroke: Two issues with afib. The first is stroke. Afib is a risk for stroke, and thus all patients with afib need some sort of blood thinner. Whether that is an Aspirin or full anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin) depends on your risks and your doctor will let you know that. The second is heart rate. If the afib is too fast or too slow, the rate will need to be treated also. ...Read more
Yes: As long as the heart rate is not to fast and the risk of strike is appropriately dealt with, people work with af. Some people might feel better if they are in normal rhythm. Specific questions regarding rhythm vs. Rate control should be directed to your doctor. ...Read more
Slow down the heart: Beta blockers and digoxin are often used first to slow down the heart when there is rapid heart rate of af. In some patients, electric shocks can be utilized to convert the irregular rate of af to normal. In most all cases, blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) and new drugs like Pradaxa are utilized to reduce the risk of blood clots forming inside the heart and causing complications such as strokes. ...Read more
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
Depends: Atrial fibrillation is a very common arrhythmia, often unclear in origin, but usually due to enlarged upper heart chambers (atria). High blood pressure, heart valve problems, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, coronary disease, alcohol, or even spontaneous in normal people. Some drop in energy may be noted, but one can live normally with it. Blood thinners to minimize strokes important if persists. ...Read more
Irregular: Atrial fibrillation occurs when the atria, which deliver blood to the ventricles, receive an abnormal electrical signal and then beat erratically instead of in a coordinated, strong beat. The danger of atrial fibrillation is that the blood in the atria tends to stay there instead of getting pumped fully into the ventricles. This slow moving blood in the atria can then form blood clots. ...Read more
See below.: The most important effect of atrial fibrillation is the risk of clots arising in the atrium and causing a stroke when the clot leaves the atrium and lands in the brain. Patients with atrial fib may have decreased exercise tolerance and shortness of breath due exaggerated heart rate response. Patients may have fatigue due to decreased cardiac output. The feeling of palpitations may cause anxiety. ...Read more
Atrial fibrillation: Flying in a commercial aircraft pressurizes to about 8000ft, this level doesn't cause hypoxia so unlikely to be a trigger unless something else like anxiety or other stress supervenes. If something goes on stressful in the aircraft, one could imagine a trigger possibility. I have seen patients get a gas bubble in their GI tract at altitude and be anxious for instance. ...Read more
Depends...: Treatment of af depends on the type of af, the age of the patient, the presence or absence of underlying heart disease, and patient's personal preferences (more medications vs. Procedural approach (ablation). You should discuss this with your doctor or an electrophysiologist. ...Read more
Atrial fibrillation: We have a variety of medications we use for afib. First we need to diagnose that its there and why before we choose medications. We have anticoagulants, rate control medications and rhythm modulating medications. There are multiple choices for each with advantages and disadvantages to each. There is no one 'best', we choose depending on the patient's status and individualize for each. ...Read more
Rate or rhythm?: Some meds are good to control the heart rate in af, others are to try to control the rhythm and maintain normal sinus rhythm. In addition, blood thinners (anticoagulant meds) need to be considered for some people. So, there is not an easy answer. If this applies to you and you are only 40, you should also consider a curative ablation procedure. ...Read more
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