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tachycardia & fibrillation


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cynthiaG Find out more about cynthiaG
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  • tachycardia & fibrillation

    what is the difference between tachycardia and fibrillation? My niece told me yesterday that she had the radiofrequency ablation done in January as she was having a lot of fast "flutters" when exercising, playing sports. It was very successful. She hasn't had any since. Is "fluttering" usually related to the ventricles or not nessessarily? She is no longer taking a beta blocker...(P.S. she does not have HCM,I think she has mitral valve prolapse)
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #2
    Re: tachycardia & fibrillation

    If this is a blood relative - I would be very suprised if it is NOT HCM...there are many other cases similar that thave been told they have MVP..only to find it is really HCM later on.
    Radio Frequency ablations are done to "kill" electrical pathways in the heart. This procedre is more commonly used in conditions other than HCM

    New England Journal of Medicine
    Volume 340:534-544 February 18, 1999 Number 7

    "Radio-frequency catheter ablation has replaced antiarrhythmic-drug therapy for the treatment of many types of cardiac arrhythmia.
    Catheter-ablation procedures are performed in an electrophysiology laboratory. Usually both the diagnosis and the catheter ablation can be accomplished in a single session.1 Three or four electrode catheters are inserted percutaneously into a femoral, internal jugular, or subclavian vein and positioned within the heart to allow pacing and recording at key sites"

    Fast, abnormal heart rhythms are called tachyarrhythmias.

    Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is a very fast, irregular heart rhythm in the lower heart chambers (ventricles). During VF the heart quivers and pumps little or no blood to the body. Consciousness is lost in seconds. If not treated immediately, VF will cause sudden cardiac arrest.

    Atrial fibrillation is an abnormality of heart rhythm in which chambers of the heart no longer contract in an organized manner. Heart rate often becomes irregular and may be very fast, producing palpitations. Atrial fibrillation can lead to symptoms of heart failure (shortness of breath, edema, palpitations) and chest pains and, when left untreated, occasionally can lead to stroke.

    Any questions...let me know!
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


    • #3
      Re: tachycardia & fibrillation

      Cynthia, just to add a little to what Lisa posted - as she said about ventricular fibrillation, it is in the lower chambers of the heart, so no blood is pumped out to the body or lungs. Atrial fibrillation/flutter is in the upper chambers of the heart, but the lower chambers or ventricles are not fibrillating. Some of the impulses will still get through to the ventricles so they will continue to pump blood to the lungs and body. However, the fibrillating atria will not be able to pump so they will not fill the ventricles as well as normal. Then the ventricles can't pump out as much blood as normal either. This is referred to as loss of "atrial kick". The rate will usually be faster than normal and irregular. Linda


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