Atrial Fibrillation

(redirected from A fib)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to A fib: atrial fibrillation, dementia, COPD, metoprolol, Ventricular tachycardia

Atrial Fibrillation

 

a cardiac arrhythmia whose basis is a disturbance in atrial activity. Atrial fibrillation often occurs with heart defects, cardiosclerosis, rheumatic endocarditis, and thyrotoxicosis, but there is no generally accepted theory to explain how it develops.

A distinction is made between paroxysmal and continuous atrial fibrillation. Continuous fibrillation may be tachyrhythmic (rapid), with a pulse of 90 to 150–180 beats per minute, or bradyrhythmic (slow), in which the pulse is never more than 60–80 beats per minute. The tachyrhythmic form is associated with sensations of palpitations, pounding, general excitement, and weakness. Patients with the bradyrhythmic form usually do not sense the arrhythmia, which is often detected only by electrocardiographic examination.

Although atrial flutter arises from the same conditions as atrial fibrillation, it is distinguished from atrial fibrillation in that the number of atrial impulses reaches 300 and the pulse may be as rapid as 240–300 beats per minute. A distinction is made between regular flutter, in which every second or third impulse travels successfully from the atria to the ventricles, and irregular flutter, in which the alternation of atrial and ventricular contractions is irregular. Atrial flutter is more difficult for patients to tolerate than is fibrillation.

Cardiac arrhythmias are treated with cardiac glycosides, quinidine, Novocainamid, Inderal, Aimalin, potassium salts, cocarboxylase, and electropulse therapy.

N. R. PALEEV

References in periodicals archive ?
These procedures can reduce or eliminate the need for blood-thinning medications often used to treat A Fib.
While treating or curing A Fib is necessary to reduce the risk of stroke, identifying the condition is equally important.
According to the Heart Rhythm Society, fewer than 30 percent of people with A Fib are receiving proper treatment - with or without medication.
Horton and Hume were part of an international team that traveled to Krakow, Poland, in January of 2009 to explore new ways to treat A Fib.
During this procedure, the cardiac surgeon makes small incisions to access the heart, and creates surgical lesions that block the triggers and pathways of A Fib.