Arrhythmia
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Diseases and Conditions

Arrhythmia

Causes

Arrhythmia is another term to describe an abnormal heart rhythm. This frightening heart abnormality can be caused by a number of conditions, including:

Atrial Fibrillation
Disorganized electrical impulses that cause the heart's two upper chambers to contract very fast and at an irregular pace.

Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia
An occasional rapid heart rate that tends to occur in a regular rhythm and originates from above the ventricles.

Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome
An extra electrical pathway that connects the atria and ventricles and causes a rapid heartbeat.

Long QT Syndrome
A heart rhythm disorder that can lead to sudden, uncontrollable and dangerous arrhythmias that can be fatal.

Brugada Syndrome
A condition in which the heart's lower chambers beat too fast, preventing blood from pumping properly throughout the body, leading to fainting and death if not treated immediately.

Slow Pulse
Also known as bradycardia; a condition resulting from a pulse rate lower than 60 beats per minute. It becomes more problematic when that rate drops to 50 beats per minute, and it can lead to cardiac arrest if too little oxygen is being pumped to the heart.

Symptoms

Patients might be referred to the Arrhythmia Program at Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care for a number of reasons, including:

  • Palpitations
  • Weakened heart muscle
  • Pounding in the chest or chest discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Heart failure that is no longer responding to medicinal treatment
  • Documented heart-rhythm abnormalities

While some situations involving an arrhythmia can be harmless and a mere annoyance to the individual experiencing it, all arrhythmias should be taken seriously and treated immediately.

Service and Treatment Options

The Arrhythmia Program at Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care will provide noninvasive diagnostic testing for patients dealing with arrhythmias to help determine the exact cause of the irregular heart rate. If tests are inconclusive, electrophysiology studies will help pinpoint the exact cause and help determine the most effective treatments. Treatments may involve the insertion of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Ablation, or the removal of the abnormal electrical circuit, may also be an effective treatment. Learn more about services provided by the Arrhythmia Program.