Cardiac arrhythmias

Attacks of tachycardia

 
Accessory conduction pathways cause palpitations; the heart rate is regular but abnormally fast. The onset of attacks is in childhood or early adulthood. Abnormalities in the conduction pathways are typically not associated with heart disease. In some patients, an ECG examination may detect changes in the conduction during normal rhythm. Palpitations last from a few seconds to several hours. Sometimes, prolonged attacks need to be stopped using medications. Harmful and frequently recurring attacks can be prevented by taking prescription medications. Often, catheter ablation proves to be an effective method in the treatment of tachycardia caused by conduction pathways. The procedure is described below.

The origin of tachycardia attacks may also be in the atrium or ventricle. Ventricular tachycardia is common in patients with heart disease, such as a history of myocardial infarction. On rare occasions, ventricular tachycardia can occur in persons who do not have heart disease. Ventricular tachycardia may cause loss of consciousness and can be life-threatening. Attacks of tachycardia can be prevented by taking prescription medications and stopped by using an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
 
 

Atrial fibrillation


In atrial fibrillation, random electrical impulses fire off from the atria and some of them pass through to the ventricles, causing a highly irregular pulse rate. An episode of atrial fibrillation usually lasts from a few hours to several days. The pulse rate is often abnormally fast, but it may also remain normal. Atrial fibrillation may make heart failure worse. It causes blood clots in the atrial walls, possibly blocking arteries and causing a stroke. Atrial fibrillation can affect middle-aged and older adults without a history of heart disease, and it becomes more common with age. Elderly patients with atrial fibrillation often also suffer from hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease. Atrial fibrillation occurs in episodes that either cease spontaneously or become prolonged.
 
It may also become a permanent rhythm. Episodes of atrial fibrillation are controlled using medications that reduce the pulse rate during atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation can be effectively treated with catheter ablation. Some patients benefit from a pacemaker. Medications that prevent blood clots from forming in the atria and the subsequent arterial thromboses are an important part of treatment.
 
 

Extrasystoles


Extrasystoles are premature beats of the heart. They are common and mostly harmless. However, it is important to determine what is causing the extrasystoles. In some patients, the cause of extrasystoles may be heart disease, while others may be at risk of severe attacks of arrhythmia. Extrasystoles are treated to manage the discomfort. If extrasystoles are frequent, they may disturb circulation and cardiac function and must be treated. On rare occasions, extrasystoles are treated using catheter ablation.

 

Congenital arrhythmias


Congenital arrhythmias usually cause serious arrhythmic attacks. In other respects, your heart might be perfectly healthy. The condition may also be associated with myocardial abnormalities. Congenital arrhythmias may present as arrhythmic sensations, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, or sudden death. However, long QT syndrome is the most common symptom. Treatment is based on the diagnosis and characteristics of the condition. After an incidence has been detected, members of the patient's close family are examined to detect possible arrhythmias. People with congenital arrhythmias may be asymptomatic or the symptoms may not have been diagnosed. Finding carriers is important to initiate preventative care.
 

Bradycardia


Bradycardia refers to an abnormally slow heart beat that might cause your blood circulation to become insufficient. It may be continuous or prevent pulse rate from increasing during physical activity, or it may cause sudden, prolonged pauses between heart beats. Symptoms include a general feeling of weakness, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. The sinoatrial node firing off an electrical impulse might be impaired or the conduction of an impulse in the pathway running between the atria and ventricles might be reduced or completely missing. Abnormalities are typically caused by a heart disease that should be diagnosed and treated, if possible. Bradycardia is common in elderly people. A pacemaker may be implanted to prevent a slow pulse rate and to accelerate the pulse rate during physical activity.
 
 

Loss of consciousness


Bradycardia or a very fast heart beat may cause the patient to lose consciousness. Before the condition can be treated, its cause must first be determined. When assessing the importance of pulse rate, it should be remembered that loss of consciousness may also be caused by a decrease in blood pressure or reflex syncope, which is a common symptom in healthy people.