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Symptoms » Abnormal heart rhythm
 

Abnormal heart rhythm

Abnormal heart rhythm: Introduction

An abnormal heart rhythm is a condition in which the heart is not beating in a normal rhythm. An abnormal heart rhythm is also known as a cardiac arrhythmia or an ectopic heartbeat. An abnormal heart rhythm is called a cardiac arrhythmia when it occurs continuously. An abnormal heart rhythm is called a ectopic heartbeat when there is single occurrence of an abnormal heart rhythm or beat.

An abnormal heart rhythm is a symptom of a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions that cause the heart to beat in way that is irregular, too rapid (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) and/or not at all (asystole). Abnormal heart rhythms can be mild to severe to life-threatening.

Heart rhythm is controlled by the electrical conduction system of the heart. A healthy electrical conduction system causes the chambers of the heart to contract and pump blood in a steady efficient manner that maintains a normal blood pressure and good blood circulation. An abnormal heart rhythm can result when the electrical conduction system is damaged or stimulated abnormally due to certain diseases and disorders, such as heart disease or hyperthyroidism. Some athletes can develop a healthy abnormal heart rhythm (bradycardia).

An abnormal heart rhythm can occur in any age group or population, but people most at risk include those who have a history of heart valve disorders, cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure and hypothyroidism. Other conditions that can result in an abnormal heart rhythm include electrolyte imbalance, smoking, excessive exercise, alcoholism and drinking too much caffeine. Abnormal heart rhythms can also be a side effect of stimulant drugs, such as certain diet drugs, and some street drugs, such as cocaine.

An abnormal heart rhythm can be acute and appear relatively suddenly, such as the rapid abnormal heart rhythm that occurs with paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia (PSVT). Abnormal heart rhythm can also be ongoing and chronic, such as when an elderly person develops atrial fibrillation.

Other potentially serious types of abnormal heart rhythms include paroxysmal atrial tachycardia, atrial flutter and second degree heart block. Life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms include ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation, which can lead to cardiac arrest. In cardiac arrest the heart has stopped beating or is beating too inefficiently to sustain life.

Symptoms of an abnormal heart rhythm include chest pain and palpitations. Complications of an abnormal heart rhythm can be life-threatening. For more details about symptoms and complications, see symptoms of abnormal heart rhythm.

Diagnosing abnormal heart rhythm and its root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Diagnostic testing includes an EKG, which creates a picture of the heart's electrical activity and rhythm. A long-term portable telemetry EKG device may also be worn.

Other tests may include a chest X-ray, echocardiogram and blood cardiac assay tests, which can help identify damage to the heart. A diagnosis of abnormal heart rhythm and its cause can easily be delayed or missed because some people may be unaware that they have the disorder. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of abnormal heart rhythm.

Treatment of abnormal heart rhythm varies depending on the type and cause of the disorder. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of abnormal heart rhythm....more »

Abnormal heart rhythm: Misdiagnosis

Diagnosing abnormal heart rhythm and its cause may be delayed or missed because the symptoms may not be severe or bothersome enough for a person to seek medical care. Some people may be unaware that they are experiencing symptoms of abnormal heart rhythm. In addition, some symptoms of abnormal heart rhythm, such as palpitations and lightheadedness may be attributed to other conditions ...more misdiagnosis »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Abnormal heart rhythm

Home medical tests possibly related to Abnormal heart rhythm:

Abnormal heart rhythm: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Abnormal heart rhythm, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Abnormal heart rhythm Treatments

The first step in treating abnormal heart rhythm is prevention. This includes not smoking, not using illegal drugs or abusing prescription stimulant medications and moderating caffeine and alcohol intake.

Once an abnormal heart rhythm develops, a treatment plan is individualized to the cause, the presence of coexisting and underlying diseases, the age of the patient, and other factors. ...Abnormal heart rhythm Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Abnormal heart rhythm may include:

Review further information on Abnormal heart rhythm Treatments.

Abnormal heart rhythm: Animations

Medications or substances causing Abnormal heart rhythm:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Abnormal heart rhythm as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Abnormal heart rhythm:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Abnormal heart rhythm as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Ritonavir and amiodarone interaction
  • Norvir and amiodarone interaction
  • Ritonavir and flecainide interaction
  • Norvir and flecainide interaction
  • Ritonavir and meperidine interaction
  • Norvir and meperidine interaction
  • Ritonavir and piroxicam interaction
  • more interactions...»

Abnormal heart rhythm: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Abnormal heart rhythm may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

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Causes of Similar Symptoms to Abnormal heart rhythm

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Abnormal heart rhythm:

Abnormal heart rhythm: Deaths

Read more about causes and Abnormal heart rhythm deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Abnormal heart rhythm

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from...read more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack,...read more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can...read more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there...read more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood...read more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children. Some of the symptoms of hypertension that can be overlooked include chest pain, ...read more »

Abnormal heart rhythm: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Abnormal heart rhythm

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Abnormal heart rhythm:

Abnormal heart rhythm: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Abnormal heart rhythm: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Abnormal heart rhythm listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Abnormal heart rhythm as a symptom include:

Definitions of Abnormal heart rhythm:

An abnormal rate of muscle contractions in the heart.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Detailed list of causes of Abnormal heart rhythm

The list below shows some of the causes of Abnormal heart rhythm mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Abnormal heart rhythm?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Abnormal heart rhythm. Of the 281 causes of Abnormal heart rhythm that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 1 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 2 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 278 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Abnormal heart rhythm:

The following list of conditions have 'Abnormal heart rhythm' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Abnormal heart rhythm or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Abnormal heart rhythm:

The following list of medical conditions have Abnormal heart rhythm or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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What are the alternative names for Abnormal heart rhythm:

Arrhythmias, Dysrhythmias, Irregular heart beat, Cardiac arrhythmia
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Classifications of Abnormal heart rhythm:

Medical Conditions associated with Abnormal heart rhythm:

Heart rhythm symptoms (1589 causes), Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Cardiovascular symptoms (3192 causes)

Symptoms related to Abnormal heart rhythm:

Heart sounds (267 causes), Palpitations (566 causes), Arrhythmias (172 causes), Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Slow heartbeat (49 causes), Fast heartbeat, Congenital heart disease (68 causes), Left ventricular failure, Pacemaker defects, Atrial flutter, Atrial fibrillation (77 causes), Ventricular tachycardia, Supraventricular tachycardia

Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Abnormal heart rhythm

Medical research papers related to Abnormal heart rhythm include:

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Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Abnormal Heart Rhythm:

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