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Electrocardiogram, or ECG or
the heart’s rhythm is mapped
a recorder worn
on the outside for a few days. Electrical
successfully reach the ventricles; instead
NORMAL HEART RHYTHM
they get "stuck" in the AV node.
Portable event monitor
CAUSES OF ATRIAL FIBRILLATION
(atria) and then contraction of its lower
chambers (ventricles). The contraction of
the heart occurs because of the electrical
top chamber, called the right atrium.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH
Less frequent causes:
At least 10 percent of persons with atrial
travels to the brain, the result may be a
fibrillation do not have other heart dis-
seven times greater risk of stroke. Clots
atria into the ventricles. Again, the elec-
■ AF reduces the ability of the heart to
cent. Ultimately, this may result in heart
AF increases with age, particularly after
■ Chronic atrial fibrillation may lead to
monary veins, send oxygen-rich bloodfrom the lungs back into left atrium and
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION SYMPTOMS
TREATMENT - MEDICATION &
■ Palpitations - the heart may suddenly
ications, changes in lifestyle, heart proce-
factors such as severity of symptoms.
■ An uncomfortable feeling in the chest
Texas Cardiovascular Arrhythmia Institute ■ (512) 544-2342 (544-AFIB) ■ Toll-Free: 1 877-887-7737 ■ www.tcainstitute.com
ablation, pulmonary vein isolation, abla-
tion of the AV node, or device therapy.
■ Implantable atrial defibrillator:
heart rhythm, slow the heart rate or pre-
improves symptoms, it does not cure AF.
electrical shock on the chest wall so that
■ Permanent Pacemaker:
are effective in 30 to 60 percent of cases,
with chronic AF that cannot be effective-
Studies indicate that most atrial fibrilla-
are having heart surgery to correct other
of accurately placed incisions in the right
and left atria, which direct the electrical
physiologist to visualize the left atrium.
they lower the risk of stroke they do not
other catheter delivers the radiofrequen-
cy energy to ablate (create lesions) out-
energy sources (rather than incisions) to
types of activities, those activities should
create lesions, which causes scar tissue
not be performed. If alcohol is a factor,
scar surrounding the pulmonary veins.
it may be important to cut down intake.
This scar blocks electrical impulses from
Caffeine intake should be reduced if it is
catheter that heats the tissue and creates
procedure, the catheters are inserted into
■ Cryothablation (use of cold to create
may not correct the AF or control it ade-
tions. Because it is not the most desired
treatment option, it is not often used to
include electrical cardioversion, catheter
desired treatment option, it is not oftenused to treat AF.
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