Coronary heart disease: Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation – is abnormal heart rhythm, characterized by an increase in the frequency of contractions of individual groups of muscle fibers. Moreover, the frequency of such contractions can reach 700 beats per minute. With this form of arrhythmia, the atria contract more often than the ventricles, which causes the "flicker" effect. 

Types of Atrial Fibrillation

There are two types of afib: atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Atrial fibrillation is a twitching of the muscle bundles of the atrium, as a result of which effective atrial contraction is lost. There are such forms of atrial fibrillation:

  • tachysystolic (When a large number of electrical impulses enter the atrioventricular junction, reach the ventricles and cause their contraction, then this form of arrhythmia is called tachysystolic. The frequency of contractions in this case is not constant and can reach 200 times per minute.)
  • bradystolic (In the opposite case, when fewer impulses reach the ventricles, and the frequency reaches 60 contractions, the form of atrial fibrillation is called bradystolic.)
  • paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia attacks are repeated many times, but they stop on their own.)

The reasons for the afib are divided into 2 groups: non-cardiac (chronic pulmonary diseases, viral infections, imbalance in water and electrolyte balance and alcohol consumption) and cardiac (congenital heart defects, pericarditis, cardiomyopathies, coronary artery disease and other diseases). Also, the use of caffeine or certain medications, emotional stress, and excessive exercise can cause atrial fibrillation. Surgical operations, underweight or overweight, overeating, diabetes mellitus can provoke the disease.

The atrial fibrillation treatment

For our cardiologist from Advanced Medical Care, Brooklyn, atrial flutter is a well-known disease, do not hesitate and contact them for the right treatment.

Symptoms of atrial fibrillation

Typical symptoms of atrial fibrillation are chaotic heartbeat, fear, trembling, weakness. Sweating appears even without any physical activity. Shortness of breath also occurs, which is usually considered characteristic of obese people and smokers. Pain is possible both in the region of the heart and simply in the chest. They are not always strong and long-lasting, sometimes disappear after a few minutes. During  atrial fibrillation treatment in elderly symptoms such as too frequent urination was observed.

Based on the data of an objective examination and information received from the patient, the doctor diagnoses and identifies:

  • the presence and nature of symptoms;
  • clinical type of the disease;
  • the frequency and duration of provoking factors;
  • whether there is any organic heart disease.

There are several methods for treating afib, which should be determined by the doctor depending on the patient's condition. Usually, the patient is initially prescribed pharmaceutical antiarrhythmic drugs (to slow down the course of the disease and eliminate its symptoms in the early stages).

Also, the treatment of atrial fibrillation depends on the form of atrial fibrillation. In the case of the tachysystolic form, a single dose of etacizine and quinidine is used, the finoptin can also be given to some patients. If circulatory failure occurs, the doctor will prescribe electro-pulse therapy.

At the moment, there are two main methods of treating this disease: conservative, the effectiveness of which is no more than 15%, and surgical intervention, which helps to cure the disease in 70–85% of patients.