atrial-fibrillation-lgAtrial Fibrillation is one of the more common arrhythmia’s of the Heart.

Also referred to as AF or A-fib.

ECG or EKG is the modality of diagnosis.

Sometimes symptoms of cardiac discomfort, fainting, chest pains, and other symptoms can be seen.

At other times, no symptoms will be present.

Typically an irregularly irregular heart rhythm is seen with no P waves on EKG.

Beats are typically 100-300 and there may be a presence of an a wave.

Cardiac conditions that closely associated with having this heart beat are coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, rheumatic mitral valve disease, and hypertension.

Risk factors can be alcohol intoxication, surgery, thyroid conditions, hypoxia and others

Can be the underlying causes of 30 to 40 thousand strokes a year. The cause is referred to an embolic stroke.

The risk of Stroke greatly increases as your age does.

Symptoms

  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Palpitations
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Angina
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Edema
  • Chest discomfort
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting

 

Diagnosis

  • Chest X-ray – helpful in some cases
  • EKG
  • Non-invasive Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TEE)  – typically for newly diagnosed patients.
  • Ambulatory Holter Monitoring
  • Exercise stress testing

 

Potential Causes

afib

Treatment Types

1.) Anticoagulants
2.) Conversion
3.) Long-term
4.) Rate control

Medications

  • Heparin
  • Warfarin
  • Aspirin
  • Ticlopidine
  • Clopidogrel

Ablation

Surgery to effectively create electrical blocks or barriers in the atria of the heart, forcing electrical impulses that stimulate the heartbeat to travel down to the ventricles

Rate control medications are different and are given depending on situation and by medical decision

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