Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Table of Contents
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib) facts
- What is the normal function of the heart?
- What is the electrical function of the heart?
- What causes atrial fibrillation?
- Heart rate during AFib
- What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- What are the risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- How is atrial fibrillation (AFib) diagnosed?
- Heart monitors and other tests
- What is the treatment for atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- Slowing the heart rate with medications
- Anticoagulation drugs to prevent blood clots and strokes
- Who are, and who are not candidates for warfarin?
- Newer medications to prevent stroke in AFib
- Cardioversion with medications
- Other methods of converting AFib to a normal rhythm
- Risks and candidates for cardioversion
- Procedures for treating and preventing atrial fibrillation (AFib)
- Other procedures for treating and preventing atrial fibrillation
- What are the complications of atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- What is pulmonary vein isolation?
- Who are candidates for PVI, and what are the risks?
Heart rate during AFib
In a heart that is beating normally, the rate of ventricular contraction is the same as the rate of atrial contraction. In atrial fibrillation, however, the rate of ventricular contraction is less than the rate of atrial contraction. The rate of ventricular contraction in atrial fibrillation is determined by the speed of transmission of the atrial electrical discharges through the AV node. In people with a normal AV node, the rate of ventricular contraction in untreated AFib usually ranges from 80 to 180 beats/minute; the higher the transmission, the higher the heart rate.
Some older people have slow transmission through the AV node due to disease within the AV node. When these people develop AFib, their heart rates remain normal or slower than normal. As disease in the AV node advances, these people can even develop an excessively slow heart rate and require a permanent pacemaker to increase the rate of ventricular contractions. Continue Reading