Electrophysiology Conditions

Electrophysiology Conditions Treated

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
As your heart beats, the top chambers of the heart, or atria, contract and push blood into the bottom chambers, or ventricles. In atrial fibrillation, coordination with the ventricles is disrupted due to electrical abnormalities in the pulmonary veins of the left atrium. This causes the atria to beat chaotically and irregularly. Symptoms may include heart palpitations, weakness, and shortness of breath. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia.

Stroke Risk from AFib
In AFib, there is a tendency for blood clots to form in the atria. 90% of these clots form in a small pouch of the left atrium called the left atrial appendage. If these clots come loose and travel to the brain, they can block blood flow and cause a stroke. Stroke risk from AFib can be reduced through the use of anticoagulant medication (blood thinners). For people who live an active lifestyle, and/or do not tolerate blood thinners well, the WATCHMAN™ implant is a long-term solution for reducing stroke risk in AFib patients.

Atrial Flutter
Atrial flutter originates from an abnormal electrical impulse in one of the atria. The atria beat regularly but faster and more frequently than the ventricles, resulting in as many as four atrial beats to one ventricular beat. Like AFib, atrial flutter is a condition that can increases the risk of stroke due to the potential formation of blood clots in the heart.

Heart Block
The atrioventricular node (AV node) is a cluster of specialized cells between the atria and the ventricles of the heart. The job of the AV node is to channel electrical impulses from the atria to the ventricles. Heart block is a conduction disorder in which the electrical signal from the AV node to the ventricles is partly or completely blocked, resulting in an abnormally slow heartbeat. Heart block is rated as first, second, or third degree, with third degree being complete failure of electrical conduction.

Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (PSVT)
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, or PSVT, is a sudden abnormal rapid heartbeat that can come and go. The rapid heartbeat may last for a few minutes or continue for hours. PSVT may have a variety of causes. It doesn’t necessarily require treatment but it can be a symptom of a variety of conditions so it’s a good idea to have it checked out.

Sinus Node Dysfunction
The timing of your heartbeat is regulated by a structure in the atria called the sinus node–the heart’s natural pacemaker. Damage to the sinus node, whether from surgery, drugs, a congenital heart defect, or other causes, results in sinus node dysfunction, or “sick sinus syndrome.” This may cause the heart rate to be irregular, too rapid (tachycardia), or too slow (bradycardia).

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a general term for an abnormally fast heart rhythm caused by faulty electrical activity in the upper part of the heart. Atrial fibrillation (AFib), atrial flutter, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), and Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome are all different types of SVT.

Vasovagal Syncope
Commonly known as a fainting spell, vasovagal syncope is caused by a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure. Many people can faint in reaction to a shocking or fearful situation. Common triggers include stress, heat exposure, long periods of standing, and the sight of blood. While vasovagal syncope is often a benign condition, in rare recurrent, persistent cases, a pacemaker may be necessary.

Ventricular Tachycardia
As its name suggests, this abnormally rapid heart rhythm is caused by abnormal electric signals in the ventricles of the heart. Ventricular tachycardia may have several causes, including structural heart disease. It can occur both in people with normal hearts and in people with certain types of structural heart disease. It is often treated with implantable defibrillators.

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW)
In normal hearts, the AV node is the only connection between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. The electrical signal that triggers a heartbeat passes from the atria, through the AV node, and onto the ventricles. People with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are born with an extra muscle fiber connecting the atria to the ventricles, creating an abnormal extra electrical connection that can trigger a dangerously rapid heartbeat. Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome can lead to sudden cardiac death, a risk that can be minimized with catheter ablation.