Cardiology

Mayo Clinic Minute: What's a cardiac stress test?

Your heart provides blood to all parts of your body. In order to determine if it's pumping properly, your health care provider may order a cardiac stress test. It makes the heart pump harder and faster, and can reveal potential ...

Genetics

New gene mutation associated with Fabry cardiomyopathy

The A143T variant of the GLA gene is associated with an increased risk of Fabry cardiomyopathy, according to a new study. The variant plays a role in lipid metabolism. According to the researchers, patients carrying the mutation ...

Genetics

Expert heart advice for rare genetic muscle disorder

A rare, inherited muscle disorder that occurs in about 1 in 8,000 people, myotonic dystrophy also can affect the heart and other organs. A new set of expert recommendations offers guidance for managing the progressive condition.

Genetics

New gene correction therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Duchenne type muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common hereditary muscular disease among children, leaving them wheelchair-bound before the age of 12 and reducing life expectancy. Researchers at Technical University of ...

Cardiology

Personalized medicine for atrial fibrillation

Patients with atrial fibrillation, the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia, are closer to accessing personalized medicine. This is the claim of a new study led by Dr. David Filgueiras, of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones ...

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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.

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