An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of arrhythmia. The cause is a disorder in the heart's electrical system.
Often, people who have AF may not even feel symptoms. But you may feel
- Palpitations -- an abnormal rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or difficulty exercising
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or fainting
Doctors diagnose AF using family and medical history, a physical exam, and a test called an electrocardiogram (EKG), which looks at the electrical waves your heart makes. Treatments include medicines and procedures to restore normal rhythm.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Treatments and Therapies
- Antiarrhythmics (Texas Heart Institute) Also in Spanish
- Atrial Fibrillation Medications (American Heart Association)
- Cardioversion (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in Spanish
- Catheter Ablation (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in Spanish
- Maze Surgery (Texas Heart Institute) Also in Spanish
- Treatment Guidelines of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF) (American Heart Association)
- Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Device Interventions for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation (American Heart Association)
- High Blood Pressure, Afib and Your Risk of Stroke (American Heart Association)
- Substances and Heart Rhythm Disorders (Heart Rhythm Society)
- Genetics Home Reference: familial atrial fibrillation (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Atrial Fibrillation (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: When are the cardiovascular and stroke risks too high? Pharmacotherapy...
- Article: Risk of cognitive impairment with non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants...
- Article: Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation: current patient selection and outcomes.
- Atrial Fibrillation -- see more articles
- Atrial Fibrillation in Children (American Heart Association)
- Atrial fibrillation - discharge (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Atrial fibrillation or flutter (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Cardiac ablation procedures (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Electrocardiogram (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Holter monitor (24h) (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish