Atrial fibrillation

Introduction

  • Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common and becomes more common with increasing age
  • It is often caused by heart disease but may occur in apparently healthy people. Other underlying causes of AF include:
    • Hypertension
    • Ischaemic heart disease
    • Cardiomyopathy
    • Cardiac valvular disease
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Sinoatrial disease
  • It may be triggered by excessive alcohol intake, caffeine and stress
  • It may be persistent or occur intermittently (so called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation)

ECG scan showing Atrial fibrillation

ECG Labels:

  • Fluctuating baseline / fibrillation
  • A normal PQRST wave
  • No ‘P’ wave preceding QRS