Overview of Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). It is caused by an abnormal rhythm in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria).
Normally, an electrical pulse travels through the heart about 60 to 100 times per minute while you're at rest. With atrial fibrillation, the electrical pulses come too fast. The pulses in the upper chambers then compete for a chance to travel to the lower chambers of the heart. The result is a rapid, irregular heartbeat.
In a healthy heart, electrical impulses move smoothly from the SA node through the heart. The heart beats evenly and regularly.
With afib, the electrical impulses come too fast. Some of them circulate in the atria rather than passing through the heart.
Atrial Fibrillation in Depth
Learn more about atrial fibrillation from Intermountain's Patient Education Library:
Diagnostic Tests for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation
Your doctor may order several tests that measure and record the electrical activity of your heart. These tests may be done before your appointment, so that the doctor can review them with you as soon as possible.
Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation
Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Possible treatments for atrial fibrillation include:
Services and Programs
Services and programs at Intermountain Heart Institute for patients with atrial fibrillation.
The Heart Institute currently has one or more clinical trials that are enrolling patients with atrial fibrillation. Learn more about trials for atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention.