- Atrial Fibrillation Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Atrial Fibrillation Quiz
- Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Heart Rhythm Disorders - Type of Disorder
- Patient Comments: Abnormal Heart Rhythms - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Abnormal Heart Rhythms - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Heart Rhythm Disorders - Symptoms
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
- How does the heart work?
- What is a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia)?
- What causes heart rhythm disorders?
- What are the signs and symptoms of heart rhythm disorders?
- What are the different types of heart rhythm disorders?
- Premature atrial contractions (PACs) and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)
- Sinus tachycardia
- Sinus bradycardia
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Ventricular fibrillation (V-fib)
- Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach)
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
- Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome
- Atrial fibrillation (A-fib)
- Atrial flutter
- Heart blocks
- When to seek medical care
- How are heart rhythm disorders diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heart rhythm disorders?
- What is the prognosis for heart rhythm disorders?
- Can heart rhythm disorders be prevented?
Quick GuideAtrial Fibrillation: Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Afib Treatment
What is the prognosis for heart rhythm disorders?
While most heart dysrhythmias can be treated and controlled, ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia can be fatal. Their recognition and treatment are true emergencies, and there is no guarantee that sudden cardiac death can be reversed.
For all other rhythm abnormalities, there may be time to make the diagnosis and design a treatment plan. The goal is to minimize the effect that the dysrhythmia has on daily activity and quality of life.
Can heart rhythm disorders be prevented?
For those with rapid palpitations that are intermittent, avoiding stimulants like alcohol, caffeine, over-the-counter cold medications, and illicit drugs are important preventive measures.
Mann, D. L., et al. Braunwalds Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th edition: Saunders, 2014.
"2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science." Circulation 122.18 suppl 3 (2010):S640-S946.
Previous contributing editor: Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI