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The Arrhythmia Center at Boston Medical Center has specially trained electrophysiologists on staff equipped to diagnose and treat all types heart arrhythmias.
An arrhythmia is condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm. This is sometimes felt as a “fluttering” in the chest or described the heart “skipping a beat”. A heartbeat is coordinated by electrical impulses. In some cases, the electrical impulses don’t work properly, causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly.
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Conditions We Treat
Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia, occurs when the atria beats at up to 600 times per minute, causing the chambers to quiver instead of contract effectively. A normal atria beats 60-80 times per minute.
Atrial flutter occurs when the heart beats too quickly (typically 300 beats per minute) and therefore cannot pump blood efficiently. Atrial flutter that comes and goes is known as paroxysmal atrial flutter. When atrial flutter lasts longer--often for days to weeks at a time--it is called persistent atrial flutter. Left untreated, atrial flutter can lead to an increased risk of stroke.
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is a rapid heart rate that occurs periodically. Paroxysmal means that it happens intermittently, or from time to time. A normal resting heartbeat is between 60 and 100 beats a minute. In PSVT, the heart can beat between 160 and 250 beats a minute, and this fast heartbeat is likely to start and stop suddenly. This can go on for minutes and sometimes hours. The three main types of PSVT include atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT), Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and atrial tachycardia.
Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome occurs when the heart beats too quickly. Normally, the heart beats in a coordinated way between 60 and 100 times per minute. The heart rate of a patient with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome can approach 240 beats per minute for a short period of time.
Ventricular arrhythmias begin in the heart's lower chambers, called the ventricles. Normally, a resting heart should beat between 60 and 100 times per minute. When a ventricular arrhythmia occurs, the ventricles beat abnormally fast -- up 300 beats per minute. Unlike an atrial arrhythmia, ventricular arrhythmias can be the most severe and life-threatening arrhythmias.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA
Pacemaker; ICDs; Arrhythmias
Arrhythmia, Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator, Pacemaker, Atrial Fibrillation
Cardiac electrophysiology, Catheter ablation, Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation and management, Cardiology
Adult Cardiology, Arrhythmias/Electrophysiology, Pacemaker/ICD Device , Arrhythmias, Nurse Practitioner