Atrial Fibrillation

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Related to Atrial Fibrillation: atrial flutter

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.


References in periodicals archive ?
Few people developed atrial fibrillation before age 50, the study found.
In terms of medical history, asymptomatic patients were twice as likely to have permanent atrial fibrillation (15.
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In the present study 70 cases of atrial fibrillation were studied.
In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria, contract randomly and sometimes so fast that the heart muscle cannot relax properly between contractions.
She and her JUPITER colleagues are now analyzing the data on the relationship between change over time in CRP level and incident atrial fibrillation.
ESC guidelines for management of patients with atrial fibrillation.
The applications will then be reviewed against the campaignEoACAOs entry criteria by an Expert Panel whose members include cardiologists and patient group leaders in the area of atrial fibrillation, all of whom have expertise in supporting people with the condition.
For patients with high blood sugar (glycosylated hemoglobin, also known as HBA1c more than 9 percent), the risk of atrial fibrillation was twice that for people without diabetes.
Heckbert and colleagues conducted a population-based casecontrol study at Group Health, an integrated health-care delivery system in Washington state, and estimated that 3% of incident atrial fibrillation might be explained by alendronate use.
Assuming a prevalence of 3% for undetected atrial fibrillation in patients older than 65 years, and given the test's sensitivity and specificity, opportunistic pulse palpation in this age group would detect an irregular pulse in 30% of screened patients, requiring further testing with ECG.
The incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients in the lowest Kellner quartile for total psychological distress was 2 cases per 1,000 person-years, compared with 16 cases per 1,000 person-years in those in the fourth quartile.

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