Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial Fibrillation is characterized by irregular R-R intervals from chaotic atrial impulses conducting through the AV node to the ventricles. Generally there are no identifiable P waves.
Ventricular rates may be slow or rapid, depending on the conduction through the AV Node. Slow Atrial Fibrillation may produce Pauses in which fibrillation waves can be seen. Rapid Atrial Fibrillation may sometimes exhibit bursts of Runs of SVT.
Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness. The significance Atrial Fibrillation indicates atrial irritability and arteriosclerotic heart disease. A Fib can be considered ACUTE or CHRONIC but not typically not life threatening. However, it can lead to complications. Atrial Fibrillation may produce serious symptoms and side effects if left uncontrolled. Treatments for atrial fibrillation may include medications and other interventions to try to alter the heart’s electrical system.
Example of Atrial Fibrillation: