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Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common arrhythmias. As the symptoms can be abrupt in onset it is associated with a substantial burden on the medical emergency system. By routine practice patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation of a duration less than 48 hours are commonly offered cardioversion therapy. Data from a recent study shows that more than two thirds of patients convert to sinus rhythm spontaneously within 48 hours. A watch-and-wait approach in rhythm control management may be suggested for clinical praxis, considering the high chance of spontaneous cardioversion. Long-term results for a group with early and delayed cardioversion were similar with regards to maintenance of sinus rhythm at 4 weeks.
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Rapid, irregular atrial contractions caused by a block of electrical impulse conduction in the right atrium and a reentrant wave front traveling up the inter-atrial septum and down the right atrial free wall or vice versa. Unlike ATRIAL FIBRILLATION which is caused by abnormal impulse generation, typical atrial flutter is caused by abnormal impulse conduction. As in atrial fibrillation, patients with atrial flutter cannot effectively pump blood into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES).
Impaired or delayed impulse conduction between the right and left HEART ATRIA. Advanced interatrial blocks are often associated with arrhythmias (e.g., ATRIAL FLUTTER; and ATRIAL FIBRILLATION), direct conduction block via the Bachmann's bundle and concomitant left atrial enlargement. Syndrome of advanced interatrial block associated with SUPRAVENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA is referred to as Bayes syndrome.
Long-term changes in the electrophysiological parameters and/or anatomical structures of the HEART ATRIA that result from prolonged changes in atrial rate, often associated with ATRIAL FIBRILLATION or long periods of intense EXERCISE.
A condition caused by dysfunctions related to the SINOATRIAL NODE including impulse generation (CARDIAC SINUS ARREST) and impulse conduction (SINOATRIAL EXIT BLOCK). It is characterized by persistent BRADYCARDIA, chronic ATRIAL FIBRILLATION, and failure to resume sinus rhythm following CARDIOVERSION. This syndrome can be congenital or acquired, particularly after surgical correction for heart defects.
A cardiotonic glycoside obtained mainly from Digitalis lanata; it consists of three sugars and the aglycone DIGOXIGENIN. Digoxin has positive inotropic and negative chronotropic activity. It is used to control ventricular rate in ATRIAL FIBRILLATION and in the management of congestive heart failure with atrial fibrillation. Its use in congestive heart failure and sinus rhythm is less certain. The margin between toxic and therapeutic doses is small. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p666)