Atrial Fibrillation - ECG

The atrial fibrillation may have more possible appearances. There can be present tachycardia, bradycardia or normal heart rate. The most important ECG sign is the irregularity of the rhythm, i.e. various distances between the QRS complexes. Other important thing is that there are no visible P waves before the QRS complexes. The QRS complexes are usually narrow as there is normal transmission from atria to ventricles but when a bundle branch block is present, the QRS complexes may be dilated.


Atrial Fibrillation - ECGAtrial fibrillation – It is best seen in the long curve of the lead II (at the bottom of the recording). 
QRS complexes are narrow and there is no P wave present.

Conclusion: Atrial fibrillation has a big clinical importance as it can threaten the patient with both inadequate heart rate (tachycardia, bradycardia) and increased risk of an ischemic stroke. Echocardiography should be done and serum minerals and thyroid gland hormones should be examined. The further approach may be through keeping the fibrillation with normal heartbeat and with anticoagulation therapy. The other option is to try to convert the atrial fibrillation to the normal sinus rhythm (pharmacologically or by an electric cardioversion).   




Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources