An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm.
Some arrhythmias can cause problems with contractions of the heart chambers by:
Not allowing the ventricles (lower chambers) to fill with an adequate amount of blood because an abnormal electrical signal is causing the heart to pump too fast or too slow.
Not allowing a sufficient amount of blood to be pumped out to the body because an abnormal electrical signal is causing the heart to pump too slowly or too irregularly.
Not allowing the top chambers to work properly.
In any of these situations, the body's vital organs may not receive enough blood to meet their needs.
Atria: The two upper chambers of the heart - one on the right, one on the left.
Bradycardia: A heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute is called bradycardia. The average resting heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute.
Palpitations: A symptom sometimes associated with arrhythmias. It is often described by people as a sensation of the heart "skipping," "jumping," "fluttering" or "racing."
Tachycardia: A fast heart rate, usually greater than 100 beats per minute.
Ventricles: The two lower chambers of the heart - one on the right, one on the left.
Visit our Resources and Links page for helpful links regarding heart rhythm problems and various cardiac procedures.