Medical Definition of Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia: Bouts of rapid, regular heart beating that originate in the upper chamber of the heart (atrium). Abbreviated PAT. PAT is caused by abnormalities in the atrioventricular (AV) node that lead to rapid firing of electrical impulses from the atrium that bypass the AV node under certain conditions, including excess alcohol consumption, stress, caffeine use, overactive thyroid or excessive thyroid hormone intake, and use of certain drugs. PAT is an example of an arrhythmia in which the abnormality is in the electrical system of the heart, while the heart muscle and valves may be normal. Also known as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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