Arrhythmias

Part of the Current Clinical Practice book series (CCP)

Abstract

The physiological impact of an arrhythmia depends on ventricular response rate, duration of arrhythmia, and underlying cardiac function. Bradyarrhythmias may decrease cardiac output owing to heart rate alone in patients with a relatively fixed stroke volume. Loss of atrial contraction may cause a dramatic increase in pulmonary artery pressures in patients with hypertension and diastolic dysfunction. Similarly, tachyarrhythmias can decrease diastolic filling time and reduce cardiac output, resulting in hypotension and possible myocardial ischemia. The impact of a given arrhythmia depends on the patient’s cardiac physiology and function. Treatment is determined by the hemodynamic insult. In this chapter, a systematic approach to diagnosis and evaluation of predisposing factors is presented, followed by consideration of specific arrhythmias.

Keywords

Aspirin Nicotine Fibril Cardiomyopathy Metformin 

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© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2006

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