Cardiac arrhythmia is a group of conditions in which the electrical activity of the heart is irregular or is faster or slower than normal.
Cardiac arrhythmias comprise any abnormality or perturbation in the normal activation sequence of the myocardium. Arrhythmias stem from several causes. The heart's natural timekeeper - a small mass of special cells called the sinus node - can malfunction and develop an abnormal electrical impulse rate. CPR can prolong the survival of the brain in the lack of a normal pulse, but defibrillation is the intervention which is most likely to restore a more healthy heart rhythm. A slow rhythm, known as bradycardia (less than 60 beats/min), is usually not life threatening, but may cause symptoms. When it causes symptoms implantation of a permanent pacemaker may be needed. Either dysrhythmia requires medical attention to evaluate the risks associated with the arrhythmia. The signs and symptoms of cardiac arrhythmias can range from completely asymptomatic to loss of consciousness or sudden cardiac death.
Complaints such as:
Beats are generated by electrical impulses in the atria (top chambers of the heart) and are then conducted to the ventricles, where they produce the powerful muscle contraction that pumps blood. People may have allergies or idiosyncratic reactions to many other foods and beverages that cause transitory arrhythmias. Long-term nicotine exposure and any cocaine exposure can cause much more serious arrhythmias. Oxidative stress is a common feature of ischemic-reperfusion injuries, which occur when the heart is temporarily deprived of oxygenated blood (a state known as ischemia), followed by the reintroduction of oxygenated blood (reperfusion). The development of arrhythmias includes congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure (hypertension).
Advances in medicine and technology have created new treatment options for cardiac arrhythmia (commonly known as heart rhythm disturbances).
Treatment for Cardiac Arrhythmias