FAQ - atrial fibrillation
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would you treat atrial fibrillation if a patient is on dual chamber pace maker?

is there a need to start anticoagulation in this case? what is the risk of cardioembolic stroke in these patients?

Anticoagulation is very important. There are other medications besides coumadin. But Even with a dual pacer, a person can still go into afib, or have rhythms that can cause an embolic event. I do not know what the actual statistics are, but I do know that it is a standard to place a person on anticoagulation with afib. (right now I have a pt on a dual pacer, and she STILL has persistent afib without even feeling it. ) a pacer can speed up to help bring the heart rate down, it can pace the heart to hopefully assume a normalized beat, and it can shock a person out of a dangerous rytymn. But in the meantime, if the person goes into afib, the risks for clots getting thrown off of a valve increase tremendously.   (+ info)

Is there any link between heart conditions (angina and/or atrial fibrillation) and the following substances?

FrontLine Plus (flea control for cats and dogs)
Xylitol (artificial sweetener in some chewing gums)

A friend of mine recently had an angina attack, and coincidentally they had skin contact with FrontLine Plus once prior and this time, and also had chewed some xylitol-containing chewing gum.

Just wondering whether these are known to aggravate existing heart conditions, or interact with any heart-related or blood pressure medications?

FrontLine Plus has two main chemical ingredients:

Fipronil, a broad spectrum insecticide (broad spectrum meaning it can kill any insect it comes in contact with, not just flees). It works by binding to GluCl channels (glutamate - chloride channels) in the muscles and nerves - mammals don't have GluCl channels, which is why it's safe for use on pet mammals.

Methoprene is the second chemical. It's non-toxic in humans, and is even used in some water supplies to control mosquito populations. It's also used to protect other foods, like prepared meat, mushrooms, grains, etc.

So, FrontLine Plus has no action at all in the human body.

Xylitol is another common compound used in tons of things. It's been shown to have a number of positive effects in the human body actually, from improving oral health (it's mildly antibacterial and can help prevent cavities and oral yeast infections), to improving diabetes and respiratory infections. It has no known toxicity in humans.

So, Xylitol only has beneficial actions :P

Hope this helps.  (+ info)

What should I teach someone newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation?

Clearly since they have a-fib they are now on Coumadin (Warfarin), you can teach them about how it will thin their blood and they need to be extra careful. Another important item to discuss is green leafy veg; the ones filllllled with vit. k. green leafy veg decreases your PTINR (coumadin) level, and can cause the doctor to order higher doses of the medication, and ultimately the patient will have a critical PTINR, won't feel well, and will be in the ER STAT.  (+ info)

What does your heart feel like when in Atrial fibrillation mode? Or any other arrhythmia's?

Do you feel palpitations? Does the heart feel like it is beating out of sync? Many thanks

  (+ info)

Is a minimally invasive treatment for atrial fibrillation available?

Yes, a drug called Amiodarone is usually very effective.....AF can be chronic, actue or paroxysmal...and it also depend on your age....and your other health problems and heart condition but usually Amiodarone helps.You need to see a Cardiologist....The risk with AF is that because your heart is not pumping properly you might develop a clot so you need to take either a low dose of aspirin (100mg) or warfarin.ask your doctor about more details.  (+ info)

What are the latest treatments for atrial fibrillation?

Thank you to Linny for providing a decent answer!! I was astonished by the ignorance of the previous posters who claimed to be medical professionals. Burning the SA node is an absolute last resort these days, as you'd be pacemaker-dependant & on meds for the rest of your life, with no chance of being helped by any new technologies/procedures that may come up. Plus, you may find that you are in permanent AFIB with a pacemaker, which will only pace the ventricles, NOT the atria. As well, though the medical profession seems to like amiodarone, the drug is highly toxic and cannot be used long term. It may be OK for conversion in hospital, but the risks tolong term health if you start taking the pills are far more dangerous than atrial fib.

The Maze is not the newst procedure. I would sincerely hate to be in Soaringjeff's hospital if it's so woefully behind the times. Unfortunately, most AFIB meds lose effectiveness over time, and there are many who are looking to a procedure for help. The RF Ablation is becoming more & more common as it's fairly new, but the risks outweigh the potential benefit, which, at about 60% success rate dependant on the doctor who does the procedure, is not quite there yet. There is also no long term data on this procedure to see how effective it is. This technology needs a few years yet before I'd try it. One of the latest technologies is Cryoablation which looks promising, where they use cold to create lesions on the heart instead of heat, which is less risky. This is still in the testing stage though I believe some centres in Europe are now using it. Also, there is a microwave version of the ablation, pioneered by Dr Adam Saltman which has only been performed a couple hundred times in North America, but so far the results have been impressive. There is also a procedure commonly known as the "mini-maze", also quite new. It was pioneered by Dr Wolf and many people have had great results. They do not crack the chest open for this but go in through your ribs on the side, yet perform almost all the same lesions as the full maze procedure (known as the Cox Maze III, pioneered by Dr. Cox). However, it is apparently far more painful than having the sternum cracked! The advantage of these surgical options versus the ablation options, is that they remove something called the Left Atrial Appendage, which is responsible for 90% of the clots in afibbers (ear-like appendage in the atria thatblood forms behind when your heart is not pumping effectively) so the removal of this can help lower your stroke risk of the procedure fails to cure your AF. There is also a brand new procedure called the HIFU Maze (High Intensity Frequency Ultrasound) which is still in the testing stage but looks promising.

Bottom line, as AF is starting to reach epidemic proportions (see recent news articles, search the web), there'll be more & more procedures coming up in the next decade or so, so hang in there with your meds & see what happens. Eventually they'll find the procedure that really works! Do a search on any of the info I've given here, and tons of info will come up.  (+ info)

What are the causes and treatment for atrial fibrillation?

I know it is irregular heart beat....

That is a big subject in Cardiology and Medicine. However to be concise the most important causes are as below

a) Ischemic heart disease, treatment is proper restoration of blood supply to heart.

Immediate treatment is certain medications to control the irritability of the heart and function of the SA node, conductivity of reentry impulses and irritable heart, checking the electrolytes and adjusting them, stoping any medicines which may aggravate the situation

b) Rheumatic heart disease,

c) Thyrotoxic heart disease Rx treat the basic Thyroid problem and give supportive immediate treatment

d) Valvular heart disease

e) Congestive heart failure

f) Cardiomyopathy disorders

g) COPD and chronic progressive pulmonary disorders

h) Myocarditis and Pancarditis of diverse origin Rx diagnose and treat the basic problem while giving the immediate and supportive treatment

i) Electrolyte, ph and metabolic imbalance, diagnose and address the appropriate problem + supportive immediate treatment

f) Iatrogenic problems, diagnose and stop the offending medication/medications and study drug and drug drug interactions etc.

g) drug and alcohol abuse

h) Accidental overdose and suicidal overdose with certain medications

i) Hypothermia and hyperthermia

There are several other unusual raesons as well

The A-fib of short and new duration can be managed by cardioversion under due precautions, when ever it is long standing or there are any doubts the anticoagualtion therapy to prevent stroke/embolic phenomenon and echocardiogram to find any clots in the appendices of the atria is amust. Study of the conductive system and pinpoint abalation therapy, pace maker etc, are some of the other ways to help the patient.  (+ info)

Is it safe to get pregnant after having an pulmonary vein ablation for atrial fibrillation?

yeah....wait til you're a hundred percent healthy.  (+ info)

If one has Atrial Fibrillation, what is the recommended medical procedure treatment?

Is there a medical procedure that mitigates the use of blood thinners?

Only if it is new onset. IF it is new onset (less than 48 hours), then you can have either chemical or electrical conversion. But rate control is quite important. One can live with A-fib a long as the rate is well controlled. If you have had it long term, you can go on anticoagulants for about 6 weeks. Then if they determine that you have no thrombi in your heart you can attempt electrical conversion. If there is a thrombus in your left heart, the risk will be too high for a piece to break free, causing a stroke. Hope this helps  (+ info)

Can you assess atrial fibrillation without a cardiac monitor? How?

Thanks for answering! : )

Auscultation (using a stethoscope) will detect the arrhythmia as well.  (+ info)

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