Arrhythmia

Cardiac dysrhythmia (also known as arrhythmia and irregular heartbeat) is any of a large and heterogeneous group of conditions in which there is abnormal electrical activity in the heart. The heart beat may be too fast or too slow, and may be regular or irregular.

Some arrhythmias are life-threatening medical emergencies that can result in cardiac arrest. Others cause symptoms such as an abnormal awareness of heart beat (palpitations), and may be merely annoying. These palpitations have also been known to be caused by atrial/ventricular fibrillation, wire faults, and other technical or mechanical issues in cardiac pacemakers/defibrillators. Still others may not be associated with any symptoms at all, but may predispose the patient to potentially life threatening stroke or embolism.

Some arrhythmias are very minor and can be regarded as normal variants. In fact, most people will on occasion feel their heart skip a beat, or give an occasional extra strong beat; neither of these is usually a cause for alarm.

Proarrhythmia is a new or more frequent occurrence of pre-existing arrhythmias, paradoxically precipitated by antiarrhythmic therapy, which means it is a side effect associated with the administration of some existing antiarrhythmic drugs, as well as drugs for other indications. In other words, it is a tendency of antiarrhythmic drugs to facilitate emergence of new arrhythmias.

The term sinus arrhythmia refers to a normal phenomenon of mild acceleration and slowing of the heart rate that occurs with breathing in and out. It is usually quite pronounced in children, and steadily decreases with age. This can also be present during meditation breathing exercises that involve deep inhaling and breath holding patterns.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Flow means 'go' for proper lymph system development

The lymphatic system provides a slow flow of fluid from our organs and tissues into the bloodstream. It returns fluid and proteins that leak from blood vessels, provides passage for immune and inflammatory cells from the ...

It don't mean a thing if the brain ain't got that swing

Like Duke Ellington's 1931 jazz standard, the human brain improvises while its rhythm section keeps up a steady beat. But when it comes to taking on intellectually challenging tasks, groups of neurons tune in to one another ...

New treatment options for a fatal leukemia

In industrialized countries like in Europe, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children. An international research consortium lead by pediatric oncologists from the Universities of Zurich and ...

Study identifies 'major player' in skin cancer genes

A multidisciplinary team at Yale, led by Yale Cancer Center members, has defined a subgroup of genetic mutations that are present in a significant number of melanoma skin cancer cases. Their findings shed light on an important ...

Neural efficiency hypothesis confirmed

One of the big questions intelligence researchers grapple with is just how differences in intelligence are reflected in the human brain. Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in studying further details relating to suspected ...