Understanding Heart Rhythm Disorders and Treatments

Heart rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias, are conditions where the heart beats too fast, too slow, or irregularly, affecting blood flow and heart function.
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Electrophysiology | Heart Function Abnormalities | Cardiac Arrhythmia Management | Arrhythmia | Heart Rate Irregularities
Prepared by Lee Cheng, reviewed by Jane Cox

Heart Rhythm Disorders FAQ

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What is an abnormal heart rhythm?

An abnormal heart rhythm is when your heart beats too fast, too slow, or irregularly. It’s also called an arrhythmia. Your heart contains a complex system of valves, nodes, and chambers. They control how and when blood is pumped throughout your body. If these are disrupted, damaged, or compromised, it can change your heart rate or rhythm.

What causes an abnormal heart rhythm?

Heart disorders are the most common cause of an abnormal heart rhythm. Sometimes people are aware of abnormal heart rhythms, but many times they feel only their consequences, such as weakness or fainting. The diagnosis is based on electrocardiography (ECG). Treatment involves restoring the heart to a normal rhythm and preventing further episodes.

How do healthcare providers describe arrhythmias?

Healthcare providers describe arrhythmias by where in your heart they start. Supraventricular arrhythmias: These begin in your atria (your heart’s upper chambers). “Supraventricular” means above your ventricles or lower chambers of your heart. Ventricular arrhythmias: These begin in your heart’s ventricles or lower chambers.

What are the different types of arrhythmia?

There are different types of arrhythmia, the most common are: Atrial fibrillation is the most common irregular, often fast heart rhythm. Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a very fast heart rhythm. There are different types of SVT.

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