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Atrial Fibrillation

What is AFib?

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is one of the most common and under-treated irregular heart rhythm conditions. The most common type of cardiac arrhythmia, its diagnosis indicates that blood isn’t moving properly through the heart. This increases the risk of stroke and congestive heart failure, and it may cause chronic fatigue.

Patients with AFib have heartbeats significantly faster than a normal heartbeat. Because AFib causes the heart to beat at a faster rhythm, blood is not completely pumped from the heart’s atria, increasing the chances of pooling and clotting.

Types of Atrial Fibrillation

  • Paroxysmal – Paroxysmal AFib is not constant. The heartbeat may increase and last for seconds, minutes, hours or days before returning to normal rhythm. Patients with Paroxysmal AFib usually present more symptoms due to the pulse rate increasing and slowing in short periods of time. Paroxysmal AFib can be treated with medication and, in cases where additional treatment is necessary, ablation.
  • Persistent – Persistent AFib does not stop naturally, but can be remedied through medications or controlled electric shock (cardioversion).
  • Permanent – Permanent AFib cannot be corrected with either medication or controlled electric shock.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, please contact the Tulane Cardiology Clinic at (504) 988-6113.