DETROIT (313) 993-7777|DEARBORN (313) 791-3000|SOUTHFIELD (248) 424-5000

DETROIT (313) 993-7777
DEARBORN (313) 791-3000
SOUTHFIELD (248) 424-5000

Atrial Fibrillation

Informing Patients
In a normal heart, beats are rhythmic and steady in both strength and frequency. This consistency allows the heart muscle to effectively pump blood through its four chambers and out to the rest of the body.

Atrial fibrillation — also known simply as AF — is a condition in which the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria), quiver erratically rather than in strong beats. The bottom two chambers (the ventricles), continue to beat normally. This failure of the two halves of the heart to synch their rhythm disrupts proper blood flow and interferes with the heart’s ability to deliver blood to the body efficiently.

Atrial fibrillation could be occasional (paroxysmal) or chronic. With occasional AF, you may experience symptoms on and off for between several hours and several minutes. Chronic AF entails a constantly abnormal heartbeat.

Common Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

Many people who have atrial fibrillation present with no symptoms and are completely unaware of their condition until a doctor discovers their problem during an exam. Others may experience complications related to a lack of oxygen and proper blood flow in the body.

Common symptoms of AF include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations (an irregular, fast, or uncomfortable heartbeat)
  • Confusion

Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation

There are a number of treatment methods available for atrial fibrillation, and many people with this condition can lead a normal life with some care and adjustments. Treatment programs center on regulating the heartbeat and maintaining a normal rhythm. The right treatment program for you will depend on your medical history, your age and how long you have suffered from AF.

Common treatment options for Atrial Fibrillation include:

  • Medication – Many medications that slow the heart rate are available and can effectively treat AF. Drugs like Ibutilide can restore a normal rhythm to the heart.
  • Electrical Cardioversion – Using paddles, a cardiologist can electrically shock the heart of a patient under anesthesia in the hopes of resetting a normal heart rate. The shock will momentarily stop the heart, and when it starts again, it can often pick up its normal rhythm.
  • Blood Clot Control – With a weakened heart rate, it’s important to prevent blood clots with blood thinning medications like warfarin.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation – In many cases, an irregular heart rate can be sourced to rapidly-firing “trigger” areas of the heart muscle. By using radiofrequency energy to directly disable these hot spots, a cardiologist can return the heart to normal functioning.
  • Pacemakers – An atrial pacemaker can help regulate the heartbeat.

If you have further questions about aortic stenosis, or would like more information on related issues, please contactour office or call us toll-free at (855) 543-2783 (855-5-HEARTDOCS).

Copyright © 2018 Heart & Vascular Institute | All Rights Reserved

24/7 ANSWERING SERVICE: (313) 222-0330

Copyright © 2018 Heart & Vascular Institute | All Rights Reserved

24/7 ANSWERING SERVICE: (313) 222-0330

About Our Heart Team

The Heart & Vascular Institute's consortium of award-winning Detroit heart doctors remain dedicated to providing the highest quality of care throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

Cardiovascular Testing

: Aortic Testing
: Echocardiogram Testing
: Venous & Vein Testing
: Vascular & Arterial Testing
: Stress Testing

Cardiac Procedures

: Left / Right Heart Catheterization
: Peripheral Angiogram
: Inferior Vena Cava / removal
: Carotid Venous Angiogram/Stent
: ICD Implant


: 24/7 Emergency: (313) 222-0330
: Detroit: (313) 993-7777
: Dearborn: (313) 791-3000
: Southfield: (248) 424-5000
: Toll Free: 1-(855) 5-Heart-Docs

We proudly serve patients and their families in Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, Livonia, Farmington Hills, Barton Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Franklin, Lake Angelus, Bingham Farms, Orchard Lake, Bloomfield, Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, Sylvan Lake, Huntington Woods, West Bloomfield, Northville, Grosse Ile, Pleasant Ridge, Plymouth, Rochester, Clarkston, Lathrup Village, Novi, Troy, Rochester Hills, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, Auburn Hills, Wixom and many other cities in the greater Detroit metro area and throughout Michigan