Paroxysm of atrial fibrillation symptoms and causes

Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation is one of the most frequently diagnosed pathologies, which in most cases is diagnosed at later stages of development.

This is justified by the unexpressed symptomatology of the disease, as a result of which for several months the patient may not even guess about his cardiac problems.

In order to better understand the features of the course of paroxysm, we will consider the etiology, causes, and medical advice for dealing with this dangerous ailment.

What is paroxysmal arrhythmia?

Paroxysm of atrial fibrillation is a pathological condition that is accompanied by an acute disturbance of the heart rhythm. In most cases, the root cause of this disease is ischemic disease, which was not promptly cured.

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Arrhythmia in the ciliated phase can be chronic and paroxysmal. The last type of the disease is characterized by paroxysmal course. In turn, an attack in a person begins suddenly and causes a lot of discomfort to the patient. The duration of one attack can be 5-7 minutes.

In simple terms, paroxysmal arrhythmia is nothing more than an acute attack of tachycardia (heart rhythm disturbance), during which a person can experience more than 140 heartbeats per minute, which is a life-threatening condition.


The main reasons for the development of paroxysmal arrhythmias are:

  • Chronic heart failure.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • Hypertension with an increase in heart mass.
  • Coronary artery disease that is not treated.
  • Inflammatory changes in the myocardium (can occur after a number of previous infectious diseases).
  • Congenital heart defects, which are accompanied by the expansion of its chambers.

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The predisposing factors for the development of the disease are:

  • smoking and drinking alcohol,
  • acute deficiency of potassium and magnesium,
  • infectious pathologies in severe form,
  • various endocrine disorders (thyrotoxicosis),
  • condition after recent surgery,
  • stress and nervous strain,
  • taking a number of medications.

In the event that the specific cause of the disease has not been established, this type of arrhythmia is called idiopathic. This condition is often observed in young patients.

Remember! Before starting treatment, it is important to identify exactly what caused the disease. This will help the doctor choose the right course of therapy and reduce the risk of developing dangerous complications, including preventing repeated attacks of tachycardia.

Symptoms of the disease

The nature of the manifestation of the disease directly depends on the frequency of ventricular contractions. Thus, small deviations from the norm (100 beats per minute) may not manifest themselves in any way.

At the same time, a reduction of 120 beats or more is usually accompanied by the following signs:

  • Sweating.
  • Lack of air.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Pain in the region of the heart.
  • Shortness of breath at rest or with little exercise.
  • Irregularity of the pulse, as well as frequent irregularities in the heart rhythm.
  • Trembling limbs.
  • Weakness.
  • Frequent dizziness.
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With a critical violation of the heart rate in a person, there is a deterioration in cerebral circulation. The patient faints. Respiratory arrest may also occur. This condition requires immediate resuscitation.

Urgent care

With the sudden development of an attack of atrial fibrillation, a person should be provided with the following help:

  • Put the patient in a horizontal position, loosen the belt on the trousers and the tie for men.
  • Provide fresh air.
  • Give a person a sedative like Valocardin or Corvalol.
  • Call an ambulance. paroksizm mertsatelnoy aritmii priznaki i proyavlenie 5 - 23

In the event that it is not possible to restore the sinus rhythm, the patient needs to inject a solution of Novocainamide intravenously. This drug is effective for the next attack of arrhythmia in most patients.

Therapeutic tactics

Treatment for such a disease depends on its cause and degree of neglect. Therapeutic methods, electro-pulse therapy and surgery are traditionally used.

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The main drugs that are prescribed to patients are:

  • Cordaron.
  • Novocainamide.
  • Digoxin.

The specific dosage and method of taking the drug is selected for each patient by the doctor individually. The duration of therapy depends on the degree of neglect of the pathology.

If drug therapy is unsuccessful, the patient is offered an electrical shock.

This procedure is performed as follows:

  • The patient is given anesthesia.
  • Electrodes are placed on the chest.
  • A discharge is carried out with the required current value.

During this procedure, the cardiac system “restarts” again. After that, it begins to function in a uniform healthy mode. The efficiency of the method is almost 100%.

As for the surgical intervention, it is performed in case of recurrence of atrial fibrillation. In this case, laser cauterization of the pathological focus in the myocardium is used. The procedure is performed through a puncture with a catheter. The effectiveness of the method does not exceed 80%.

Important! During treatment, the patient must be guided by dietary nutrition. It provides for the abandonment of alcohol, salty, sour and fatty. It is necessary to minimize the use of indigestible foods. The basis of the diet should be cereals, vegetables and fruits, herbs, nuts.


All complications from paroxysm in atrial fibrillation can be associated with the formation of a blood clot or impaired blood circulation.

Most often, patients experience the following types of complications:

  • Heart failure.
  • Pulmonary edema that occurs due to acute heart failure.
  • Loss of consciousness caused by impaired blood supply to the brain.
  • Myocardial infarction.
  • A shock in which a person’s blood pressure drops.
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Remember! The risk of a blood clot increases dramatically one day after the onset of paroxysm. This much time is quite enough for a large thrombus to form in the cavity of the non-functioning atrium. At the same time, it can affect the brain, heart or limbs.


As medical practice shows, arresting an arrhythmia attack is much more difficult than preventing it. Thus, in order to reduce the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, it is important to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • give up bad habits, be it smoking or drinking alcohol,
  • find fault with a healthy diet,
  • prevent obesity (if this problem already exists, a person should follow a diet),
  • enrich the menu with foods high in potassium (zucchini, pumpkin, bananas),
  • promptly treat any myocardial diseases, as well as infectious pathologies,
  • every six months to undergo a preventive examination by a cardiologist,
  • avoid stress and any nervous strain, depression,
  • set aside time for proper sleep and rest.

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The prognosis for this disease is individual for each patient. It depends on the history of the disease, its cause, the form of its course and the timely start of treatment. Also, the weight of the patient, his age and the presence of concomitant diseases play an important role.

In general, the prognosis in this state is favorable. Modern treatment allows you to maintain a person’s condition in normal conditions, preventing the development of dangerous seizures.

Thus, subject to all medical prescriptions, the patient will be able to lead a normal life, with the exception of a few restrictions in diet and physical activity.

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The diagnosis of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation can be made to anyone, regardless of their age.

The most important thing in this case is to consult a doctor in time and not self-medicate. It is also necessary to restore the normal heart rate during the first day, until the patient has dangerous complications.

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Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.