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All about atrial fibrillation (AF) causes of atrial fibrillation symptoms of atrial fibrillation complications of atrial fibrillation diagnosis of atrial fibrillation treatment for atrial fibrillation arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) {bundle branch block cardiac arrhythmia atrial fibrillation atrial flutter supraventricular tachycardia sick sinus syndrome ventricular arrhythmias ventricular tachycardia ventricular fibrillation heart block Brugada syndrome long QT syndrome short QT syndrome Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW syndrome)}

How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

Atrial fibrillation can be chronic and sustained, or brief and intermittent (paroxysmal). Paroxysmal AF refers to intermittent episodes of atrial fibrillation lasting, for example, minutes to hours. The heart rate reverts to normal between episodes. In chronic, sustained AF, the atria fibrillate all of the time. Chronic, sustained AF is not difficult to diagnose. Doctors can hear the rapid and irregular heartbeats using a stethoscope. Abnormal heartbeats also can be felt by taking a patient's pulse.

The evaluation of patients who develop atrial fibrillation includes a medical history and physical examination, an electrocardiogram (ECG), and an echocardiogram (cardiac echo). The doctor usually asks if there is a history of heart problems (such as heart attack) or chest pains (which might suggest coronary artery disease); if they suddenly develop a sensation of shortness of breath and chest pains (which can suggest that a blood clot has broken off from a blood vessel in the legs and traveled to the lungs); if they are losing weight or feel hot all the time (symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland); or if they regularly consume alcohol.


More information on atrial fibrillation

What is atrial fibrillation (AF)? - Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an electrical rhythm disturbance of the heart affecting the atria. Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of irregular heartbeat.
What causes atrial fibrillation? - Atrial fibrillation is associated with many cardiac conditions, including cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease.
What're the symptoms of atrial fibrillation? - Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include palpitations, fainting, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath and angina pectoris.
What're the complications of atrial fibrillation? - The most devastating complication of atrial fibrillation occurs when a blood clot forms in the left atrium and is pumped to the brain.
How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed? - The diagnosis of atrial fibrillation includes a medical history and physical examination, an electrocardiogram (ECG), and an echocardiogram.
What's the treatment for atrial fibrillation? - Treatment for atrial fibrillation depends on the underlying cause. A highly effective, safe treatment for atrial fibrillation is still an unmet medical need.
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