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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac
An electrical current applied to the HEART to terminate a disturbance of its rhythm, ARRHYTHMIAS, CARDIAC. (Stedman, 25th ed)
Heart Conduction System
Cardiac Pacing, Artificial
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)
Vena Cava, Inferior
The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART ATRIA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tachycardia, Sinoatrial Nodal Reentry
Abnormally rapid heartbeats caused by reentry circuit in or around the SINOATRIAL NODE. It is characterized by sudden onset and offset episodes of tachycardia with a HEART RATE of 100-150 beats per minute. The P wave is identical to the sinus P wave but with a longer PR interval.
Pathophysiological conditions of the FETUS in the UTERUS. Some fetal diseases may be treated with FETAL THERAPIES.
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.
The inferior and superior venae cavae.
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.
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)
Tachycardia, Atrioventricular Nodal Reentry
Abnormally rapid heartbeats caused by reentry of atrial impulse into the dual (fast and slow) pathways of ATRIOVENTRICULAR NODE. The common type involves a blocked atrial impulse in the slow pathway which reenters the fast pathway in a retrograde direction and simultaneously conducts to the atria and the ventricles leading to rapid HEART RATE of 150-250 beats per minute.
The thin membrane-like muscular structure separating the right and the left upper chambers (HEART ATRIA) of a heart.
Heart Defects, Congenital
Procedures in which placement of CARDIAC CATHETERS is performed for therapeutic or diagnostic procedures.
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.