Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service

What is Arrhythmia?

In simple terms, an arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. This could mean that your heart is beating too slow, too fast or in an uncoordinated fashion. An arrhythmia is  considered serious when it causes the heart to beat too slow or too fast to effectively pump blood, and particularly, if it’s associated with a diseased heart condition.

Do I have Arrhythmia?

Patients often go to their physicians for evaluation of symptoms that may be due to an arrhythmia.  In other cases, patients are relatively free of symptoms and are discovered to have an arrhythmia with routine testing.

Symptoms of Arrhythmia

There is a wide range of symptoms that patients may experience related to arrhythmias.  Patients differ enormously in the way in which patients describe their symptoms. 
When symptoms do present, they can include:

The diagnosis of an arrhythmia is usually made with an electrocardiogram (ECG). If the arrhythmia is present only occasionally, it may be necessary to have an ECG monitor  to document the heart rhythm during symptoms or to detect any arrhythmia in the absence of symptoms.

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