Atrial Fibrillation: Abnormal cardiac rhythm that is characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (HEART ATRIA). In such case, blood cannot be effectively pumped into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES). It is caused by abnormal impulse generation.Catheter Ablation: Removal of tissue with electrical current delivered via electrodes positioned at the distal end of a catheter. Energy sources are commonly direct current (DC-shock) or alternating current at radiofrequencies (usually 750 kHz). The technique is used most often to ablate the AV junction and/or accessory pathways in order to interrupt AV conduction and produce AV block in the treatment of various tachyarrhythmias.Heart Atria: The chambers of the heart, to which the BLOOD returns from the circulation.Ventricular Fibrillation: A potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmia that is characterized by uncoordinated extremely rapid firing of electrical impulses (400-600/min) in HEART VENTRICLES. Such asynchronous ventricular quivering or fibrillation prevents any effective cardiac output and results in unconsciousness (SYNCOPE). It is one of the major electrocardiographic patterns seen with CARDIAC ARREST.Anti-Arrhythmia Agents: Agents used for the treatment or prevention of cardiac arrhythmias. They may affect the polarization-repolarization phase of the action potential, its excitability or refractoriness, or impulse conduction or membrane responsiveness within cardiac fibers. Anti-arrhythmia agents are often classed into four main groups according to their mechanism of action: sodium channel blockade, beta-adrenergic blockade, repolarization prolongation, or calcium channel blockade.Pulmonary Veins: The veins that return the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.Electric Countershock: An electrical current applied to the HEART to terminate a disturbance of its rhythm, ARRHYTHMIAS, CARDIAC. (Stedman, 25th ed)Warfarin: An anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. Warfarin is indicated for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation with embolization. It is also used as an adjunct in the prophylaxis of systemic embolism after myocardial infarction. Warfarin is also used as a rodenticide.Atrial Flutter: 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).Anticoagulants: Agents that prevent clotting.Electrocardiography: Recording of the moment-to-moment electromotive forces of the HEART as projected onto various sites on the body's surface, delineated as a scalar function of time. The recording is monitored by a tracing on slow moving chart paper or by observing it on a cardioscope, which is a CATHODE RAY TUBE DISPLAY.Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac: Methods to induce and measure electrical activities at specific sites in the heart to diagnose and treat problems with the heart's electrical system.Atrial Appendage: Ear-shaped appendage of either atrium of the heart. (Dorland, 28th ed)Amiodarone: An antianginal and class III antiarrhythmic drug. It increases the duration of ventricular and atrial muscle action by inhibiting POTASSIUM CHANNELS and VOLTAGE-GATED SODIUM CHANNELS. There is a resulting decrease in heart rate and in vascular resistance.Cardiac Pacing, Artificial: Regulation of the rate of contraction of the heart muscles by an artificial pacemaker.Heart Conduction System: An impulse-conducting system composed of modified cardiac muscle, having the power of spontaneous rhythmicity and conduction more highly developed than the rest of the heart.Treatment Outcome: Evaluation undertaken to assess the results or consequences of management and procedures used in combating disease in order to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and practicability of these interventions in individual cases or series.Thromboembolism: Obstruction of a blood vessel (embolism) by a blood clot (THROMBUS) in the blood stream.Stroke: A group of pathological conditions characterized by sudden, non-convulsive loss of neurological function due to BRAIN ISCHEMIA or INTRACRANIAL HEMORRHAGES. Stroke is classified by the type of tissue NECROSIS, such as the anatomic location, vasculature involved, etiology, age of the affected individual, and hemorrhagic vs. non-hemorrhagic nature. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp777-810)Refractory Period, Electrophysiological: The period of time following the triggering of an ACTION POTENTIAL when the CELL MEMBRANE has changed to an unexcitable state and is gradually restored to the resting (excitable) state. During the absolute refractory period no other stimulus can trigger a response. This is followed by the relative refractory period during which the cell gradually becomes more excitable and the stronger impulse that is required to illicit a response gradually lessens to that required during the resting state.Tachycardia, Paroxysmal: Abnormally rapid heartbeats with sudden onset and cessation.Atrial Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART ATRIA.Atrial Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the LEFT ATRIUM.Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission.Atrial Premature Complexes: A type of cardiac arrhythmia with premature atrial contractions or beats caused by signals originating from ectopic atrial sites. The ectopic signals may or may not conduct to the HEART VENTRICLES. Atrial premature complexes are characterized by premature P waves on ECG which are different in configuration from the P waves generated by the normal pacemaker complex in the SINOATRIAL NODE.Follow-Up Studies: Studies in which individuals or populations are followed to assess the outcome of exposures, procedures, or effects of a characteristic, e.g., occurrence of disease.Propafenone: An antiarrhythmia agent that is particularly effective in ventricular arrhythmias. It also has weak beta-blocking activity.Electrocardiography, Ambulatory: Method in which prolonged electrocardiographic recordings are made on a portable tape recorder (Holter-type system) or solid-state device ("real-time" system), while the patient undergoes normal daily activities. It is useful in the diagnosis and management of intermittent cardiac arrhythmias and transient myocardial ischemia.Body Surface Potential Mapping: Recording of regional electrophysiological information by analysis of surface potentials to give a complete picture of the effects of the currents from the heart on the body surface. It has been applied to the diagnosis of old inferior myocardial infarction, localization of the bypass pathway in Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, recognition of ventricular hypertrophy, estimation of the size of a myocardial infarct, and the effects of different interventions designed to reduce infarct size. The limiting factor at present is the complexity of the recording and analysis, which requires 100 or more electrodes, sophisticated instrumentation, and dedicated personnel. (Braunwald, Heart Disease, 4th ed)beta-Alanine: An amino acid formed in vivo by the degradation of dihydrouracil and carnosine. Since neuronal uptake and neuronal receptor sensitivity to beta-alanine have been demonstrated, the compound may be a false transmitter replacing GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID. A rare genetic disorder, hyper-beta-alaninemia, has been reported.Sotalol: An adrenergic beta-antagonist that is used in the treatment of life-threatening arrhythmias.Flecainide: A potent anti-arrhythmia agent, effective in a wide range of ventricular and atrial ARRHYTHMIAS and TACHYCARDIAS.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Pacemaker, Artificial: A device designed to stimulate, by electric impulses, contraction of the heart muscles. It may be temporary (external) or permanent (internal or internal-external).Prospective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.Atrioventricular Node: A small nodular mass of specialized muscle fibers located in the interatrial septum near the opening of the coronary sinus. It gives rise to the atrioventricular bundle of the conduction system of the heart.Sick Sinus Syndrome: 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.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.International Normalized Ratio: System established by the World Health Organization and the International Committee on Thrombosis and Hemostasis for monitoring and reporting blood coagulation tests. Under this system, results are standardized using the International Sensitivity Index for the particular test reagent/instrument combination used.Embolism: Blocking of a blood vessel by an embolus which can be a blood clot or other undissolved material in the blood stream.Echocardiography, Transesophageal: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues using a transducer placed in the esophagus.Heart Rate: The number of times the HEART VENTRICLES contract per unit of time, usually per minute.Cryosurgery: The use of freezing as a special surgical technique to destroy or excise tissue.Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome: A form of ventricular pre-excitation characterized by a short PR interval and a long QRS interval with a delta wave. In this syndrome, atrial impulses are abnormally conducted to the HEART VENTRICLES via an ACCESSORY CONDUCTING PATHWAY that is located between the wall of the right or left atria and the ventricles, also known as a BUNDLE OF KENT. The inherited form can be caused by mutation of PRKAG2 gene encoding a gamma-2 regulatory subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase.Arrhythmias, Cardiac: Any disturbances of the normal rhythmic beating of the heart or MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTION. Cardiac arrhythmias can be classified by the abnormalities in HEART RATE, disorders of electrical impulse generation, or impulse conduction.Bepridil: A long-acting calcium-blocking agent with significant anti-anginal activity. The drug produces significant coronary vasodilation and modest peripheral effects. It has antihypertensive and selective anti-arrhythmia activities and acts as a calmodulin antagonist.Tachycardia: Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a HEART RATE above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia.Tachycardia, Ectopic Atrial: Abnormally rapid heartbeats originating from one or more automatic foci (nonsinus pacemakers) in the HEART ATRIUM but away from the SINOATRIAL NODE. Unlike the reentry mechanism, automatic tachycardia speeds up and slows down gradually. The episode is characterized by a HEART RATE between 135 to less than 200 beats per minute and lasting 30 seconds or longer.Digoxin: 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)Hemorrhage: Bleeding or escape of blood from a vessel.Cardiac Surgical Procedures: Surgery performed on the heart.Chronic Disease: Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Atrial Function, Right: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the RIGHT ATRIUM.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Risk Assessment: The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)Arrhythmia, Sinus: Irregular HEART RATE caused by abnormal function of the SINOATRIAL NODE. It is characterized by a greater than 10% change between the maximum and the minimum sinus cycle length or 120 milliseconds.Tachycardia, Supraventricular: A generic expression for any tachycardia that originates above the BUNDLE OF HIS.Incidence: The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from PREVALENCE, which refers to all cases, new or old, in the population at a given time.Echocardiography: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Atrial Septum: The thin membrane-like muscular structure separating the right and the left upper chambers (HEART ATRIA) of a heart.Heart Failure: A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION.Sinoatrial Node: The small mass of modified cardiac muscle fibers located at the junction of the superior vena cava (VENA CAVA, SUPERIOR) and right atrium. Contraction impulses probably start in this node, spread over the atrium (HEART ATRIUM) and are then transmitted by the atrioventricular bundle (BUNDLE OF HIS) to the ventricle (HEART VENTRICLE).Predictive Value of Tests: In screening and diagnostic tests, the probability that a person with a positive test is a true positive (i.e., has the disease), is referred to as the predictive value of a positive test; whereas, the predictive value of a negative test is the probability that the person with a negative test does not have the disease. Predictive value is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the test.Postoperative Complications: Pathologic processes that affect patients after a surgical procedure. They may or may not be related to the disease for which the surgery was done, and they may or may not be direct results of the surgery.Heart Valve Diseases: Pathological conditions involving any of the various HEART VALVES and the associated structures (PAPILLARY MUSCLES and CHORDAE TENDINEAE).Bradycardia: Cardiac arrhythmias that are characterized by excessively slow HEART RATE, usually below 50 beats per minute in human adults. They can be classified broadly into SINOATRIAL NODE dysfunction and ATRIOVENTRICULAR BLOCK.Defibrillators, Implantable: Implantable devices which continuously monitor the electrical activity of the heart and automatically detect and terminate ventricular tachycardia (TACHYCARDIA, VENTRICULAR) and VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION. They consist of an impulse generator, batteries, and electrodes.Heart Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the HEART including its structural and functional abnormalities.Mitral Valve: The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart.Aspirin: The prototypical analgesic used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain. It has anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties and acts as an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase which results in the inhibition of the biosynthesis of prostaglandins. Aspirin also inhibits platelet aggregation and is used in the prevention of arterial and venous thrombosis. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p5)Pericardium: A conical fibro-serous sac surrounding the HEART and the roots of the great vessels (AORTA; VENAE CAVAE; PULMONARY ARTERY). Pericardium consists of two sacs: the outer fibrous pericardium and the inner serous pericardium. The latter consists of an outer parietal layer facing the fibrous pericardium, and an inner visceral layer (epicardium) resting next to the heart, and a pericardial cavity between these two layers.Procainamide: A class Ia antiarrhythmic drug that is structurally-related to PROCAINE.Fibrinolytic Agents: Fibrinolysin or agents that convert plasminogen to FIBRINOLYSIN.Atrial Remodeling: 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.Cerebrovascular Disorders: A spectrum of pathological conditions of impaired blood flow in the brain. They can involve vessels (ARTERIES or VEINS) in the CEREBRUM, the CEREBELLUM, and the BRAIN STEM. Major categories include INTRACRANIAL ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATIONS; BRAIN ISCHEMIA; CEREBRAL HEMORRHAGE; and others.Electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.Pyridones: Pyridine derivatives with one or more keto groups on the ring.Benzimidazoles: Compounds with a BENZENE fused to IMIDAZOLES.Heart Block: Impaired conduction of cardiac impulse that can occur anywhere along the conduction pathway, such as between the SINOATRIAL NODE and the right atrium (SA block) or between atria and ventricles (AV block). Heart blocks can be classified by the duration, frequency, or completeness of conduction block. Reversibility depends on the degree of structural or functional defects.Tachycardia, Ventricular: An abnormally rapid ventricular rhythm usually in excess of 150 beats per minute. It is generated within the ventricle below the BUNDLE OF HIS, either as autonomic impulse formation or reentrant impulse conduction. Depending on the etiology, onset of ventricular tachycardia can be paroxysmal (sudden) or nonparoxysmal, its wide QRS complexes can be uniform or polymorphic, and the ventricular beating may be independent of the atrial beating (AV dissociation).Disopyramide: A class I anti-arrhythmic agent (one that interferes directly with the depolarization of the cardiac membrane and thus serves as a membrane-stabilizing agent) with a depressant action on the heart similar to that of guanidine. It also possesses some anticholinergic and local anesthetic properties.Models, Cardiovascular: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of the cardiovascular system, processes, or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers and other electronic equipment.Chi-Square Distribution: A distribution in which a variable is distributed like the sum of the squares of any given independent random variable, each of which has a normal distribution with mean of zero and variance of one. The chi-square test is a statistical test based on comparison of a test statistic to a chi-square distribution. The oldest of these tests are used to detect whether two or more population distributions differ from one another.Adrenergic beta-Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate beta-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of beta-adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic beta-antagonists are used for treatment of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, angina pectoris, glaucoma, migraine headaches, and anxiety.Comorbidity: The presence of co-existing or additional diseases with reference to an initial diagnosis or with reference to the index condition that is the subject of study. Comorbidity may affect the ability of affected individuals to function and also their survival; it may be used as a prognostic indicator for length of hospital stay, cost factors, and outcome or survival.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Multivariate Analysis: A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.Aprindine: A class Ib anti-arrhythmia agent used to manage ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias.Mitral Valve Stenosis: Narrowing of the passage through the MITRAL VALVE due to FIBROSIS, and CALCINOSIS in the leaflets and chordal areas. This elevates the left atrial pressure which, in turn, raises pulmonary venous and capillary pressure leading to bouts of DYSPNEA and TACHYCARDIA during physical exertion. RHEUMATIC FEVER is its primary cause.Coronary Artery Bypass: Surgical therapy of ischemic coronary artery disease achieved by grafting a section of saphenous vein, internal mammary artery, or other substitute between the aorta and the obstructed coronary artery distal to the obstructive lesion.Prognosis: A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations.Autonomic Denervation: The removal or interruption of some part of the autonomic nervous system for therapeutic or research purposes.Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Vitamin K: A lipid cofactor that is required for normal blood clotting. Several forms of vitamin K have been identified: VITAMIN K 1 (phytomenadione) derived from plants, VITAMIN K 2 (menaquinone) from bacteria, and synthetic naphthoquinone provitamins, VITAMIN K 3 (menadione). Vitamin K 3 provitamins, after being alkylated in vivo, exhibit the antifibrinolytic activity of vitamin K. Green leafy vegetables, liver, cheese, butter, and egg yolk are good sources of vitamin K.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Cardiac Complexes, Premature: A group of cardiac arrhythmias in which the cardiac contractions are not initiated at the SINOATRIAL NODE. They include both atrial and ventricular premature beats, and are also known as extra or ectopic heartbeats. Their frequency is increased in heart diseases.Administration, Oral: The giving of drugs, chemicals, or other substances by mouth.Rheumatic Heart Disease: Cardiac manifestation of systemic rheumatological conditions, such as RHEUMATIC FEVER. Rheumatic heart disease can involve any part the heart, most often the HEART VALVES and the ENDOCARDIUM.Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease: Pathological process resulting in the fibrous obstruction of the small- and medium-sized PULMONARY VEINS and PULMONARY HYPERTENSION. Veno-occlusion can arise from fibrous proliferation of the VASCULAR INTIMA and VASCULAR MEDIA; THROMBOSIS; or a combination of both.Stroke Volume: The amount of BLOOD pumped out of the HEART per beat, not to be confused with cardiac output (volume/time). It is calculated as the difference between the end-diastolic volume and the end-systolic volume.Coronary Sinus: A short vein that collects about two thirds of the venous blood from the MYOCARDIUM and drains into the RIGHT ATRIUM. Coronary sinus, normally located between the LEFT ATRIUM and LEFT VENTRICLE on the posterior surface of the heart, can serve as an anatomical reference for cardiac procedures.Heart Arrest: Cessation of heart beat or MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTION. If it is treated within a few minutes, heart arrest can be reversed in most cases to normal cardiac rhythm and effective circulation.Proportional Hazards Models: Statistical models used in survival analysis that assert that the effect of the study factors on the hazard rate in the study population is multiplicative and does not change over time.Thrombosis: Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel.Esophageal Fistula: Abnormal passage communicating with the ESOPHAGUS. The most common type is TRACHEOESOPHAGEAL FISTULA between the esophagus and the TRACHEA.Ventricular Dysfunction, Left: A condition in which the LEFT VENTRICLE of the heart was functionally impaired. This condition usually leads to HEART FAILURE; MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION; and other cardiovascular complications. Diagnosis is made by measuring the diminished ejection fraction and a depressed level of motility of the left ventricular wall.Heart Ventricles: The lower right and left chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps venous BLOOD into the LUNGS and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into the systemic arterial circulation.Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted: Computer-assisted processing of electric, ultrasonic, or electronic signals to interpret function and activity.Kaplan-Meier Estimate: A nonparametric method of compiling LIFE TABLES or survival tables. It combines calculated probabilities of survival and estimates to allow for observations occurring beyond a measurement threshold, which are assumed to occur randomly. Time intervals are defined as ending each time an event occurs and are therefore unequal. (From Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1995)Prevalence: The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors: Drugs or agents which antagonize or impair any mechanism leading to blood platelet aggregation, whether during the phases of activation and shape change or following the dense-granule release reaction and stimulation of the prostaglandin-thromboxane system.Logistic Models: Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.Epicardial Mapping: Recording the locations and measurements of electrical activity in the EPICARDIUM by placing electrodes on the surface of the heart to analyze the patterns of activation and to locate arrhythmogenic sites.Vena Cava, Superior: The venous trunk which returns blood from the head, neck, upper extremities and chest.Cardiac Catheters: Catheters inserted into various locations within the heart for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.Pericarditis: Inflammation of the PERICARDIUM from various origins, such as infection, neoplasm, autoimmune process, injuries, or drug-induced. Pericarditis usually leads to PERICARDIAL EFFUSION, or CONSTRICTIVE PERICARDITIS.Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic: Works about clinical trials that involve at least one test treatment and one control treatment, concurrent enrollment and follow-up of the test- and control-treated groups, and in which the treatments to be administered are selected by a random process, such as the use of a random-numbers table.Atrioventricular Block: Impaired impulse conduction from HEART ATRIA to HEART VENTRICLES. AV block can mean delayed or completely blocked impulse conduction.Endocardium: The innermost layer of the heart, comprised of endothelial cells.Quinidine: An optical isomer of quinine, extracted from the bark of the CHINCHONA tree and similar plant species. This alkaloid dampens the excitability of cardiac and skeletal muscles by blocking sodium and potassium currents across cellular membranes. It prolongs cellular ACTION POTENTIALS, and decreases automaticity. Quinidine also blocks muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic neurotransmission.Fluoroscopy: Production of an image when x-rays strike a fluorescent screen.Digitalis Glycosides: Glycosides from plants of the genus DIGITALIS. Some of these are useful as cardiotonic and anti-arrhythmia agents. Included also are semi-synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring glycosides. The term has sometimes been used more broadly to include all CARDIAC GLYCOSIDES, but here is restricted to those related to Digitalis.Feasibility Studies: Studies to determine the advantages or disadvantages, practicability, or capability of accomplishing a projected plan, study, or project.Echocardiography, Doppler: Measurement of intracardiac blood flow using an M-mode and/or two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiogram while simultaneously recording the spectrum of the audible Doppler signal (e.g., velocity, direction, amplitude, intensity, timing) reflected from the moving column of red blood cells.Ablation Techniques: Removal of tissue by vaporization, abrasion, or destruction. Methods used include heating tissue by hot liquids or microwave thermal heating, freezing (CRYOABLATION), chemical ablation, and photoablation with LASERS.Brain Ischemia: Localized reduction of blood flow to brain tissue due to arterial obstruction or systemic hypoperfusion. This frequently occurs in conjunction with brain hypoxia (HYPOXIA, BRAIN). Prolonged ischemia is associated with BRAIN INFARCTION.Cardiac Catheterization: Procedures in which placement of CARDIAC CATHETERS is performed for therapeutic or diagnostic procedures.Double-Blind Method: A method of studying a drug or procedure in which both the subjects and investigators are kept unaware of who is actually getting which specific treatment.Equipment Design: Methods of creating machines and devices.Hospitalization: The confinement of a patient in a hospital.Bundle of His: Small band of specialized CARDIAC MUSCLE fibers that originates in the ATRIOVENTRICULAR NODE and extends into the membranous part of the interventricular septum. The bundle of His, consisting of the left and the right bundle branches, conducts the electrical impulses to the HEART VENTRICLES in generation of MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTION.Surgery, Computer-Assisted: Surgical procedures conducted with the aid of computers. This is most frequently used in orthopedic and laparoscopic surgery for implant placement and instrument guidance. Image-guided surgery interactively combines prior CT scans or MRI images with real-time video.Cardiac Electrophysiology: The study of the electrical activity and characteristics of the HEART; MYOCARDIUM; and CARDIOMYOCYTES.Registries: The systems and processes involved in the establishment, support, management, and operation of registers, e.g., disease registers.Cardiology: The study of the heart, its physiology, and its functions.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Thyrotoxicosis: A hypermetabolic syndrome caused by excess THYROID HORMONES which may come from endogenous or exogenous sources. The endogenous source of hormone may be thyroid HYPERPLASIA; THYROID NEOPLASMS; or hormone-producing extrathyroidal tissue. Thyrotoxicosis is characterized by NERVOUSNESS; TACHYCARDIA; FATIGUE; WEIGHT LOSS; heat intolerance; and excessive SWEATING.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Autonomic Nervous System: The ENTERIC NERVOUS SYSTEM; PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM; and SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM taken together. Generally speaking, the autonomic nervous system regulates the internal environment during both peaceful activity and physical or emotional stress. Autonomic activity is controlled and integrated by the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, especially the HYPOTHALAMUS and the SOLITARY NUCLEUS, which receive information relayed from VISCERAL AFFERENTS.ThiophenesDefibrillators: Cardiac electrical stimulators that apply brief high-voltage electroshocks to the HEART. These stimulators are used to restore normal rhythm and contractile function in hearts of patients who are experiencing VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION or ventricular tachycardia (TACHYCARDIA, VENTRICULAR) that is not accompanied by a palpable PULSE. Some defibrillators may also be used to correct certain noncritical dysrhythmias (called synchronized defibrillation or CARDIOVERSION), using relatively low-level discharges synchronized to the patient's ECG waveform. (UMDNS, 2003)Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery: A series of tests designed to assess neuropsychological function. The battery is used to diagnose specific cerebral dysfunction and also to determine lateralization.Intracranial Hemorrhages: Bleeding within the SKULL, including hemorrhages in the brain and the three membranes of MENINGES. The escape of blood often leads to the formation of HEMATOMA in the cranial epidural, subdural, and subarachnoid spaces.Electrophysiological Phenomena: The electrical properties, characteristics of living organisms, and the processes of organisms or their parts that are involved in generating and responding to electrical charges.Death, Sudden, Cardiac: Unexpected rapid natural death due to cardiovascular collapse within one hour of initial symptoms. It is usually caused by the worsening of existing heart diseases. The sudden onset of symptoms, such as CHEST PAIN and CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS, particularly VENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA, can lead to the loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest followed by biological death. (from Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 7th ed., 2005)Myocardial Infarction: NECROSIS of the MYOCARDIUM caused by an obstruction of the blood supply to the heart (CORONARY CIRCULATION).Vagus Nerve: The 10th cranial nerve. The vagus is a mixed nerve which contains somatic afferents (from skin in back of the ear and the external auditory meatus), visceral afferents (from the pharynx, larynx, thorax, and abdomen), parasympathetic efferents (to the thorax and abdomen), and efferents to striated muscle (of the larynx and pharynx).Mitral Valve Insufficiency: Backflow of blood from the LEFT VENTRICLE into the LEFT ATRIUM due to imperfect closure of the MITRAL VALVE. This can lead to mitral valve regurgitation.Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation: Surgical insertion of synthetic material to repair injured or diseased heart valves.Anisoles: A group of compounds that are derivatives of methoxybenzene and contain the general formula R-C7H7O.Electrodes: Electric conductors through which electric currents enter or leave a medium, whether it be an electrolytic solution, solid, molten mass, gas, or vacuum.Ventricular Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the left HEART VENTRICLE. Its measurement is an important aspect of the clinical evaluation of patients with heart disease to determine the effects of the disease on cardiac performance.Antithrombins: Endogenous factors and drugs that directly inhibit the action of THROMBIN, usually by blocking its enzymatic activity. They are distinguished from INDIRECT THROMBIN INHIBITORS, such as HEPARIN, which act by enhancing the inhibitory effects of antithrombins.Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: The artificial substitution of heart and lung action as indicated for HEART ARREST resulting from electric shock, DROWNING, respiratory arrest, or other causes. The two major components of cardiopulmonary resuscitation are artificial ventilation (RESPIRATION, ARTIFICIAL) and closed-chest CARDIAC MASSAGE.Intracranial Embolism: Blocking of a blood vessel in the SKULL by an EMBOLUS which can be a blood clot (THROMBUS) or other undissolved material in the blood stream. Most emboli are of cardiac origin and are associated with HEART DISEASES. Other non-cardiac sources of emboli are usually associated with VASCULAR DISEASES.Premedication: Preliminary administration of a drug preceding a diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical procedure. The commonest types of premedication are antibiotics (ANTIBIOTIC PROPHYLAXIS) and anti-anxiety agents. It does not include PREANESTHETIC MEDICATION.Heart Valves: Flaps of tissue that prevent regurgitation of BLOOD from the HEART VENTRICLES to the HEART ATRIA or from the PULMONARY ARTERIES or AORTA to the ventricles.Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging: Optical imaging techniques used for recording patterns of electrical activity in tissues by monitoring transmembrane potentials via FLUORESCENCE imaging with voltage-sensitive fluorescent dyes.Endpoint Determination: Establishment of the level of a quantifiable effect indicative of a biologic process. The evaluation is frequently to detect the degree of toxic or therapeutic effect.Electric Injuries: Injuries caused by electric currents. The concept excludes electric burns (BURNS, ELECTRIC), but includes accidental electrocution and electric shock.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Telemetry: Transmission of the readings of instruments to a remote location by means of wires, radio waves, or other means. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial BLOOD PRESSURE. Based on multiple readings (BLOOD PRESSURE DETERMINATION), hypertension is currently defined as when SYSTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently greater than 140 mm Hg or when DIASTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently 90 mm Hg or more.Practice Guidelines as Topic: Directions or principles presenting current or future rules of policy for assisting health care practitioners in patient care decisions regarding diagnosis, therapy, or related clinical circumstances. The guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or by the convening of expert panels. The guidelines form a basis for the evaluation of all aspects of health care and delivery.Fibrosis: Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury.Hemodynamics: The movement and the forces involved in the movement of the blood through the CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM.Hyperthyroidism: Hypersecretion of THYROID HORMONES from the THYROID GLAND. Elevated levels of thyroid hormones increase BASAL METABOLIC RATE.Severity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.DenmarkThoracic Surgical Procedures: Surgery performed on the thoracic organs, most commonly the lungs and the heart.Ischemic Attack, Transient: Brief reversible episodes of focal, nonconvulsive ischemic dysfunction of the brain having a duration of less than 24 hours, and usually less than one hour, caused by transient thrombotic or embolic blood vessel occlusion or stenosis. Events may be classified by arterial distribution, temporal pattern, or etiology (e.g., embolic vs. thrombotic). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp814-6)Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Vagus Nerve Stimulation: An adjunctive treatment for PARTIAL EPILEPSY and refractory DEPRESSION that delivers electrical impulses to the brain via the VAGUS NERVE. A battery implanted under the skin supplies the energy.Cardiovascular Agents: Agents that affect the rate or intensity of cardiac contraction, blood vessel diameter, or blood volume.Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis: Embolism or thrombosis involving blood vessels which supply intracranial structures. Emboli may originate from extracranial or intracranial sources. Thrombosis may occur in arterial or venous structures.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Goats: Any of numerous agile, hollow-horned RUMINANTS of the genus Capra, in the family Bovidae, closely related to the SHEEP.