Introduction to Arrhythmia

An irregular heartbeat is an arrhythmia (also called dysrhythmia). 
Heart rates can also be irregular. A normal heart beats 50 to 100 beats per minute. Arrhythmias and abnormal heart rates do not necessarily occur together. Arrhythmias may occur with a normal heart beat, or a slow heart rates (called bradyarrhythmias - less than 50 beats per minute). Arrhythmias can also occur with rapid heart rates (called tachyarrhythmias - faster than 100 beats per minute). In the United States, more than 850 000 people hospitalized for an arrhythmia each year.

What an arrhythmia caused?

Arrhythmias may be caused by several factors, including:

Coronary artery disease.
Electrolyte imbalance in your blood (such as sodium and potassium).
Changes in heart muscle.
Injury from a heart attack.
Healing process after heart surgery.
Irregular heart rhythms can also occur in "normal healthy" heart.

What are the types of arrhythmias?

The types of arrhythmias include:

Premature atrial contraction. It is early extra beats that arise in the atria (upper chambers of the heart). They are harmless and require no treatment.
Premature ventricular contraction (PVC). It is among the most arrhythmias and occur in people with and without heart disease. This is the skipped heartbeat we all occasionally experience. In some people it may be related to stress, too much caffeine or nicotine or too much exercise. But sometimes PVC caused by heart disease or electrolyte imbalance. People who have a lot of PVC and / or symptoms associated with them must be evaluated by a heart doctor. However, in most people, PVC is usually harmless and rarely need treatment.
Atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a common irregular heart rhythm that causes the atria, the upper chambers of the heart to abnormal contracting.
Atrial flutter. This is an arrhythmia caused by one or more rapid circuits in the atrium. Atrial flutter is usually more organized and regular than atrial fibrillation.This arrhythmia usually occurs in people with heart disease during the first week after heart surgery. It often takes atrial fibrillation.
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). A rapid heart beat, usually with a regular rhythm originating above the ventricles. PSVT begins and ends suddenly. There are two main types: accessory path tachycardias and AV nodal tachycardia rain style (see below).
Accessory pathway tachycardia. A rapid heartbeat due to an extra lane or abnormal connection between the atria and the ventricles. The impulses travel through the extra pathways as well as by the ordinary route. This allows the impulses to the heart very quickly to travel, causing the heart beat very fast.
AV node rains vein tachycardia. A rapid heartbeat due to more than one path through the AV node. It can cause palpitations, fainting, or heart failure. In many cases, may be terminated by using a simple maneuvers, such as breathing in and carry off, and others performed by a trained medical professional. Some drugs can also stop the heart rhythm.
Ventricular tachycardia (V Tach). A rapid heart rhythm originating in the lower chambers (ventricles or) of the heart. The rapid rate prevents the heart from filling adequately with blood, so less blood through the body is able to pump. It can be a serious arrhythmia, especially in people with heart disease, and can more symptoms associated. A heart doctor should evaluate this arrhythmia.
Ventricular fibrillation. An erratic, disorganized firing of impulses from the ventricles. The ventricles quiver and are unable to contract or pump blood to the body. This is a medical emergency associated with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation as soon as possible treatment.
Long QT syndrome. The QT interval is the area on the electrocardiogram as the time it takes for the heart muscle to contract and then recover, or the electrical impulse to fire impulses and then recharge. When the QT interval is longer than normal, it increases the risk of "Torsade de pointes," a life-threatening form of ventricular tachycardia. Long QT syndrome is a hereditary condition that can cause sudden death in young people. It can be treated with antiarrhythmic drugs, pacemaker, electrical cardioversion, defibrillation, implanted cardiac / defibrillator or ablation therapy.
Bradyarrhythmias. It's slow heart rhythms, which may result from disease in the heart's electrical conduction. Examples include sinus node dysfunction and heart block.
Sinus node dysfunction. A slow heart rhythm due to an abnormal SA (sinus) node.Significant sinus node dysfunction that causes the symptoms are treated with a pacemaker.
Heart Block. A delay or block the electrical impulse as it travels from the sinus node to the ventricles. The level of the block or delay in the AV node or HIS-Purkinje system may occur. The heart beats irregularly and, often, more slowly. If serious heart block with a pacemaker treat.
What are the symptoms of arrhythmias?

An arrhythmia can be silent and not any symptoms. A doctor an irregularheartbeat during a physical exam track your pulse or an electrocardiogram (ECG).

When the symptoms of an arrhythmia occurs, they can include the following:

Palpitations (a feeling of skipped heart beats, fluttering or "flip-flops" or feelingthat your heart is "running away").
The pounding in your chest.
Dizziness or feeling lightheaded.
Shortness of breath.
Chest discomfort.
Weakness or fatigue (feeling tired).

How are arrhythmias diagnosed?

Tests used to diagnose an arrhythmia or cause to be provided include:

Holter monitor
Event monitor
stress test
cardiac catheterization
Electrophysiology study (EPS)
Head-up tilt table test

How are arrhythmias treated?

Treatment depends on the nature and severity of your arrhythmia. Some peoplewith arrhythmias require no treatment. For others, treatment may includemedication, lifestyle changes, and surgical procedures undergone.
What drugs are used to treat arrhythmias?

A variety of drugs available to treat arrhythmias. It includes:

Antiarrhythmic drugs. These drugs control heart rate and include beta-blockers.
Anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy. These drugs reduce the risk of blood clotsand stroke. These include warfarin (a "blood thinner") or aspirin. Another bloodthinner called Pradaxa (dabigatran) was approved in 2010 to prevent stroke in people with an atrial fibrillation.
Because everyone is different, it tastes of various doses of medication and the one that works best for you to find.

Lifestyle changes can help arrhythmias?

If you see your arrhythmia occurs more often with certain activities, you shouldavoid them.
If you smoke, stop.
Limit your intake of alcohol.
Limit or stop using caffeine. Some people are sensitive to caffeine and may notice more symptoms when using caffeine products (such as tea, coffee, soda,and some over-the-counter medications).
Stay away from stimulants that cough and cold medication use. Some of thesemedicines contain ingredients that are irregular heart rhythm to promote. Read the label and ask your doctor or pharmacist what medication would be best for you.

What is electrical cardioversion?

If drugs are not able to be a persistent irregular heart rhythm (eg atrial fibrillation)control, cardioversion may be required. After the administration of a short actinganesthetic, an electric shock to your chest wall that synchronizes the heart andallows the normal rhythm to restart.
What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a device that sends a small electrical impulses to the heart muscle of a suitable heart rate to maintain. 
Pacesetters mainly to prevent the heartbeat is too slow. The pacemaker has a pulse (where the battery and a small computer) and leads (wires) that transmit impulses from the pulse sent to the heart muscle. Newer pacemakers have many sophisticated features designed to help you manage the arrhythmias and optimize heart rate-related function as much as possible.

What is an implantable cardiac defibrillator, (ICD)?

An ICD is a sophisticated device used mainly ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation, two life-threatening heart rhythm treatment. 
The ICD constantly monitors the heart rhythm. When they discovered a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm, it delivers energy to the heart muscle to cause the heart back into a normal rhythm. There are several ways the ICD can be used for the normal heart rhythm restored. They include:

Anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP). 
When the heart beats too fast, a series of small electrical impulses to the heart muscle is a normal heart rate and rhythm recovery.
A low-energy shock can be saved at the same time as the heart is better than the normal heart rhythm restored.
When the dangerous heart beat rapidly or irregularly, a higher energy shock delivered to the heart muscle to a normal rhythm restored.
Anti-bradycardia pacing. 
Many ICDS provides backup pacing heart rhythm to maintain than it is too slow.

What Is Catheter Ablation?

During an ablation, a high-frequency electrical energy delivered through a catheter to a small area of ​​tissue inside the heart causing the abnormal heart rhythm. 
This energy "connect" the path of the abnormal rhythm. Ablation is used most PSVTs, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, and some atrial and ventricular tachycardias treated.Ablation can be combined with other procedures to achieve optimal treatment.
What is heart surgery?

Heart surgery may be necessary to heart disease which can cause arrhythmiacorrected. The maze procedure is a type of surgery used for atrial fibrillationremedy. During this process, a series (or "maze") from incisions in the left atriaand the electrical impulses to defined paths to a minimum. Some people mayrequire a pacemaker after the procedure.