- Atrial fibrillation is an irregularly irregular tachydysrhythmia characterised by the presence of chaotic fibrillation waves on ECG, rather than p waves, due to disorganised electrical activity in the atria.
- Always seek an underlying cause, especially in new onset cases.
“THE ATRIAL FIBS” (attributed to Sam LaCapra)
- Embolism (P.E.)
- Trauma (cardiac contusion)
- Recent surgery (post CABG)
- Atrial enlargement
- Lone or idiopathic
- Fever, anemia, high-output states
- Bad valves (mitral stenosis)
- Stimulants (e.g. cocaine, theophyline, amphetamines, caffeine)
- ECG Library: Atrial Fibrillation