The cardiac arrhythmias are disorders of the normal beat (rhythm) of the heart. They can appear at any age. Both in people who do not suffer from any disease – especially among young people and defined idiopathic (without apparent cause) – or in patients already suffering from cardiovascular diseases important and therefore secondary to heart failure, valvular heart disease (valvular abnormalities functionality), ischemia of the arteries coronary (narrowing or occlusion of the vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart muscle).
Who is the specialist who deals with arrhythmias?
The study, diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias – electrical defects in the electrical conduction system of the heart (comparable to car battery) – are the fields of operation the doctor electrophysiologist (aritmologo), which specialization of Interventional Cardiology.
How do you diagnose cardiac arrhythmias?
The modern medicine today has many investigative methods – constantly evolving and as an assistant to non-surgical procedures – to ensure proper identification and treatment of arrhythmias. Some details:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) is the recording and reproduction, through graphic layout, the electrical activity of the heart.
- Dynamic ECG (Holter) allows you to monitor your heart rate during a defined time interval. Typically, between 24 and 48 hours. The latest generation of cardiac holter allow the recording of up to a maximum of 7 days.
- ECG (exercise test) students electrocardiogram performance during prolonged physical exertion. Examines the response apparatus cardiovascular registering stroke rate, blood pressure values, the track changes.
- Echocardiogram evaluate the function and integrity of heart valves also in relation to the size of the atria and ventricles.
- MRI allows high diagnostic accuracy in myocarditis and cardiomyopathy (hypertrophic or arrhythmogenic right ventricular).
- Electrophysiological study is the analysis of the heartbeat from the inside of the heart through the use of a device (catheter) inserted, so painless for the patient, through one or more peripheral veins. It is performed under general anesthesia.
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Atrial Fibrillation: Insidious arrhythmia
The atrial fibrillation is the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia. It affects about 1% of the general population and its growth rate follows the progressive aging of people.
It is common in those with functional abnormality of the thyroid gland; in those who suffer from diabetes and hypertension blood; in patients with certain lung diseases and in subjects with obstructive sleep apnea.
While not constituting in itself a direct and immediate risk of death, to beat irregularly and therefore the reduction of the part of the heart’s ability to pump blood, increases the risk of clots in the atria and therefore stroke cerebral.
How is atrial fibrillation?
The cure of atrial fibrillation include …
- Drugs: Reduce the risk of blood clots and thus the chances of stroke. In those suffering from hypertension, diabetes or have had previous cardiovascular they should be consumed for a lifetime.
- Electrical cardioversion: Transmitting electrical shock to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest; it is useful to restore normal heartbeat.
- Pacemaker implantation.
- Ablation transcoder: Some forms of atrial fibrillation arise from electric wrong inputs originating in the pulmonary veins. The area from which the defective pulses is “blocked” by the use of extreme heat energy sources or extreme cold (cryoablation) administered with special catheters inserted in the heart starting from the veins of the lower limbs.
- Surgical ablation in cases of simultaneous open heart surgery, “eliminating” the atria the propagation routes of pathological electrical signals (maze operation).