Atrial Fibrillation Treated in Baltimore by Expert Doctors

 

Atrial fibrillation is a type of abnormal heartbeat called an arrhythmia. In atrial fibrillation, the two upper chambers of the heart, called the right atrium and left atrium, twitch in a fast and irregular pattern.

The cardiologists at The Heart Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes poor blood flow to the body.

About the Condition

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular or rapid heartbeat that can cause poor blood flow to the body. It is caused when the two upper chambers of the heart, known as the atrias, receive chaotic electric signals, causing them to quiver and beat out of sync and coordination with the heart’s lower two chambers, known as the ventricles.

Possible causes of atrial fibrillation may include but are not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart defects
  • Sleep apnea
  • Viral infections
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of atrial fibrillation can vary greatly. Some patients may not show any symptoms at all, but otherwise may include:

  • Irregular heartbeat and palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Weakness

Cardiologists will begin a diagnosis for atrial fibrillation with a complete physical exam. In addition, the following diagnostic tests may be used:

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

The goal in treating atrial fibrillation is to reset the heart regular rhythm. In some cases, this may be done by treating the underlying causes.

If an underlying cause cannot be found or cured, doctors will often use cardioversion to restore the heart’s normal rhythm.  This is typically done using electric shocks towards the heart through electrodes that are placed on the chest. In some cases, cardioversion is performed using medications.

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Patient Stories
The Heart Center at Mercy

Pauline

The story of a patient who forms a relationship with Mercy's doctors that spans over 20 years.