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?
What is the normal function of the heart?
- The heart has four chambers. (The upper two chambers are the atria, and the lower two chambers are the ventricles.)
- Blood returning to the heart from the body contain low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide. This blood flows into the right atrium and then down into the adjacent right ventricle.
- After the right ventricle fills, contraction of the right atrium pumps additional blood into the right ventricle.
- The right ventricle then contracts and pumps the blood to the lungs where the blood takes up oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide.
- The blood then flows from the lungs to the left atrium, and then down into the adjacent left ventricle.
- Contraction of the left atrium pumps additional blood into the left ventricle.
- The left ventricle then contracts and pumps the blood to the rest of the body.
- The heartbeat (pulse) that we feel is caused by the contraction of the ventricles.
- The ventricles must deliver enough blood to the body for the body to function normally.
- The amount of blood that is pumped depends on several factors. The most important factor is the rate of contraction of the heart (the heart rate).
- As the heart rate increases, more blood is pumped.
- The heart pumps more blood with each beat when the atria contract and fill the ventricles with additional blood just before the ventricles contract. Continue Reading
2/22Reviewed on 5/27/2015
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