Atrial fibrillation occurs when action potentials fire very rapidly within the pulmonary veins or atrium in a chaotic manner. At times, the P wave activity may be observed as coarse fibrillatory waves," and the term coarse atrial fibrillation" is used, though there is no clinical significance to this finding. Atrial fibrillation also can be cured by a surgical procedure known as a MAZE procedure.

When a person has AFib, the normal beating in the upper chambers of the heart (the two atria) is irregular, and blood doesn't flow as well as it should from the atria to the lower chambers of the heart (the two ventricles). If you are worried about Atrial Fibrillation or you would like more information, visit the Healthy Hearts Clinic or call 03 8532 1999.

Permanent pacemakers are battery-operated devices that generate electrical discharges that cause the heart to beat more rapidly when the heart is beating too slowly. This discharge causes the muscle of the atria and ventricles to contract and pump blood. This is more frequent in younger people and it is called "lone" atrial fibrillation.

It affects about 7 in 100 people aged over 65. More men than women have atrial fibrillation. One issue about atrial fibrillation is that there are those that have it and do not even recognize that it is present. Percutaneous approaches in the electrophysiology laboratory have been tried to recreate this MAZE procedure to cure atrial fibrillation in people who have it more chronically, or persistently, than a person who has paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

We used a Poisson regression to estimate the annual incidence of confirmed thromboembolic events for periods during follow-up while patients were not taking anticoagulation as a rate per 100 person-years with 95% confidence limits, overall and by tertile of the burden of atrial fibrillation.

25 In the Asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Evaluation in Pacemaker Patients and the Atrial Fibrillation Reduction Atrial Pacing Trial (ASSERT), any subclinical atrial tachyarrhythmia lasting longer than 6 minutes predicted clinically evident atrial fibrillation (hazard ratio, 5.6) and stroke or systemic embolism (hazard ratio, 2.5). 4 In the Mode Selection Trial (MOST), any atrial high-rate episode lasting longer than 5 minutes predicted clinical atrial fibrillation (hazard ratio, 5.9) and stroke or death (hazard ratio, 2.8). 26 Our primary outcome of atrial fibrillation lasting 30 seconds or longer is consistent with guidelines 27-30 and, although arbitrary, is a potentially clinically important and actionable finding in this population.

Electrical messages are sent from the heart's top two chambers (atria), in an area known as the sinus node (the heart's ‘pacemaker'). Atrial fibrillation occurs when the upper chambers of the heart, or atria, do not contract in synchronous rhythm, instead they quiver or fibrillate.

Most people with atrial fibrillation will need to take medicines. At Stanford, every AFib care plan starts with a thorough evaluation of your risk for stroke, which is five times higher if you have atrial fibrillation. Some people have atrial fibrillation with no obvious source or associated condition.

It is important to restore normal rhythm early because the chance of success decreases and the chance of recurrence increases with longer durations of AF. In some situations, the patient may need to take an anticoagulant medication for 3 weeks before the procedure to reduce the risk of forming blood clots.

The image on the right is a reconstructed 3-dimensional image of the right atrium in a patient undergoing atrial fibrillation ablation. The electrical impulse starts in the sinoatrial (SA) node and then spreads throughout both atria like ripples in a pond.