Arrhythmia: An abnormal heart rhythm.
In an arrhythmia the heartbeats may be too slow, too rapid, too irregular, or too early. Rapid arrhythmias (greater than 100 beats per minute) are called tachycardias. Slow arrhythmias (slower than 60 beats per minute) are called bradycardias. Irregular heart rhythms are called fibrillations (as in atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation). When a single heartbeat occurs earlier than normal, it is called a premature contraction.
The term arrhythmia comes from the Greek a-, loss + rhythmos, rhythm = loss of rhythm.
- Arrhythmia, sinus
Arrhythmia, sinus: The normal increase in heart rate that occurs during inspiration (when you breathe in). This is a natural response and is more accentuated in children than adults. The “sinus” refers to the natural pacemaker of the heart which is called the sinoatrial (or sinus) node. It is located in the wall of the […]
- Arrhythmias, atrial
Arrhythmias, atrial: Abnormal heart rhythm due to electrical disturbances in the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) or the AV node “relay station”, leading to fast heart beats. Examples of atrial arrhythmias includes atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT).
- Arrhythmias, rapid
Arrhythmias, rapid: Abnormally rapid heart rhythms, medically termed tachycardia.
- Arrhythmias, slow
Arrhythmias, slow: Abnormally slow heart rhythms, medically termed bradycardia.
- Arrhythmias, ventricular
Arrhythmias, ventricular: Abnormal rapid heart rhythms (arrhythmias) that originate in the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles). Ventricular arrhythmias include ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Both are life threatening arrhythmias most commonly associated with heart attacks or scarring of the heart muscle from previous heart attack.