Atrial Fibrillation

Noise throws the heart out of rhythm

With an increasing level of noise, the incidence of atrial fibrillation also increases dramatically. Scientists from the Department of Cardiology at the Mainz University Medical Center were able to prove this with data from ...

May 03, 2018
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Researchers create heart cells to study AFib

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have discovered a way turn pluripotent stem cells into atrial cells, which make up the upper chambers, or atria, of the heart. The discovery will enable them to better study atrial ...

May 03, 2018
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Complex diseases get the big data treatment

The big data explosion, which allows scientists to analyse factors such as people's lifestyles, genes and medical records to develop personalised treatments for conditions, has so far mostly benefitted rare diseases with ...

May 23, 2018
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Drug dosage recommendation model

NUS pharmaceutical scientists have developed a prediction model to guide dosage adjustments of rivaroxaban, an oral anticoagulant (blood thinner), in renal-impaired patients taking amiodarone. This is to reduce the risk of ...

May 22, 2018
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Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). It may cause no symptoms, but it is often associated with palpitations, fainting, chest pain, or congestive heart failure. AF increases the risk of stroke; the degree of stroke risk can be up to seven times that of the average population, depending on the presence of additional risk factors (such as high blood pressure). It may be identified clinically when taking a pulse, and the presence of AF can be confirmed with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) which demonstrates the absence of P waves together with an irregular ventricular rate.

In AF, the normal regular electrical impulses generated by the sinoatrial node are overwhelmed by disorganized electrical impulses usually originating in the roots of the pulmonary veins, leading to irregular conduction of impulses to the ventricles which generate the heartbeat. AF may occur in episodes lasting from minutes to days ("paroxysmal"), or be permanent in nature. A number of medical conditions increases the risk of AF, particularly mitral stenosis (narrowing of the mitral valve of the heart).

Atrial fibrillation may be treated with medications to either slow the heart rate to a normal range ("rate control") or revert the heart rhythm back to normal ("rhythm control"). Synchronized electrical cardioversion can be used to convert AF to a normal heart rhythm. Surgical and catheter-based therapies may be used to prevent recurrence of AF in certain individuals. People with AF often take anticoagulants such as warfarin to protect them from stroke, depending on the calculated risk. The prevalence of AF in a population increases with age, with 8% of people over 80 having AF. Chronic AF leads to a small increase in the risk of death. A third of all strokes are caused by AF.

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

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