Information for Patients
Also called: Irregular heartbeat
An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. It means that your heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular pattern. When the heart beats faster than normal, it is called tachycardia. When the heart beats too slowly, it is called bradycardia. The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular and fast heart beat.
Many factors can affect your heart's rhythm, such as having had a heart attack, smoking, congenital heart defects, and stress. Some substances or medicines may also cause arrhythmias.
Symptoms of arrhythmias include
- Fast or slow heart beat
- Skipping beats
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Your doctor can run tests to find out if you have an arrhythmia. Treatment to restore a normal heart rhythm may include medicines, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or pacemaker, or sometimes surgery.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Arrhythmias (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Atrial fibrillation or flutter (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Cardiac ablation procedures (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Ectopic heartbeat (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Electrocardiogram (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Exercise stress test (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Heart palpitations (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Holter monitor (24h) (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Ventricular tachycardia (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (Medical Encyclopedia)
Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome is a condition that causes profound hearing loss from birth and a disruption of the heart's normal rhythm (arrhythmia). This disorder is a form of long QT syndrome, which is a heart condition that causes the heart (cardiac) muscle to take longer than usual to recharge between beats. Beginning in early childhood, the irregular heartbeats increase the risk of fainting (syncope) and sudden death.
Romano-Ward syndrome Romano-Ward syndrome is a condition that causes a disruption of the heart's normal rhythm (arrhythmia). This disorder is a form of long QT syndrome, which is a heart condition that causes the heart (cardiac) muscle to take longer than usual to recharge between beats. The term "long QT" refers to a specific pattern of heart activity that is detected with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), which is a test used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. In people with long QT syndrome, the part of the heartbeat known as the QT interval is abnormally long. Abnormalities in the time it takes to recharge the heart lead to abnormal heart rhythms.The arrhythmia associated with Romano-Ward syndrome can lead to fainting (syncope) or cardiac arrest and sudden death. However, some people with Romano-Ward syndrome never experience any health problems associated with the condition.Fifteen types of long QT syndrome have been defined based on their genetic cause. Some types of long QT syndrome involve other cardiac abnormalities or problems with additional body systems. Romano-Ward syndrome encompasses those types that involve only a long QT interval without other abnormalities.