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Electrophysiology Clinic

Problems Addressed: Palpitations and Arrhythmias

What are Palpitations?

Palpitations are the sensation of an irregular fast, uncomfortable, or strong heartbeat. These symptoms may be caused by an abnormal heart rhythm.

What are Arrhythmias?

Arrhythmias are problems that affect the electrical system, or “wiring”, of the heart muscle. This causes you to have an abnormal heartbeat that is too fast, too slow, and/or irregular. You may feel your heart “flutter” or feel like it skipped a beat- these are all symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia. Other symptoms can include dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, chest pain or shortness of breath. Many arrhythmias are benign, meaning they do not require urgent treatment, but that fluttery feeling can also signal a life-threatening condition. You may need an electrophysiology study (EP study) for further evaluation.

You may feel like your heart is beating too fast, a condition known as tachycardia, or like it is beating too slowly, called bradycardia.

Common arrhythmias include:

  • Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib): A common condition, if left untreated A-Fib greatly increases the risk of stroke.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia (VT or V-Tach): VT causes the heart to beat too quickly and inefficiently. VT often occurs due to other heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy or valve disease.
  • Other common arrhythmias include paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, atrial flutter and ventricular fibrillation.