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Tachycardia -- when the heart races.

Summary: DUBAI - Heart-beating and racing as you look deep into your beau's eyes can be an exhilarating experience. But a completely unleashed fluttering in your chest, day-in and day-out can be irritating.

DUBAI - Heart-beating and racing as you look deep into your beau's eyes can be an exhilarating experience. But a completely unleashed fluttering in your chest, day-in and day-out can be irritating.

"Tachycardia refers to the fast and rapid rhythm of heart even while resting or sleeping. The heart rate varies with age. An adult heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute. The elevated level of tachycardia is a cause of worry. The heart is not able to pump oxygen efficiently and the blood flow to the rest of the body and the heart itself is affected," says Dr N.P. Sivadas, Senior Specialist Cardiologist of Aster Medical Centre of D.M. Healthcare.

Tachycardia can be classified into two depending on the origin -- supraventricular tachycardia (narrow complex tachycardia) and ventricular tachycardia (wide complex tachycardia). Supra ventricular tachycardia can further be classified. SA node is the natural pacemaker of the heart, controlling the rhythm of the heart by sending electrical impulses. Sinus Tachycardia is often asymptomatic, although the person complaints of rapid heartbeat. When the two upper chambers of the heart fibrillate too fast, owing to rapid, disorganised electrical signals, the sync between the atria and the ventricle is thrown out of balance. This causes a rapid rhythm ranging from 100 to 175 beats per minute called Atrial Fibrillation.

Similar to atrial fibrillation, Atrial Flutter is less common. The heart-beat ranges from 250-350 beats per minute. This condition affects more males than females and can even occur in infants.

AV node reentrant tachycardia occurs when an electrical short-circuit happens in the centre of the heart. The normal heart activates from top portion to the lower side, from atria to ventricles, in other words. This sequence is broken when the electrical short circuit interrupts, resulting in a faster heart rate-120-250 beats per minute.

Accessory pathway mediated tachycardia arises because of an abnormal electrical communication from the atria, resulting in the pre-mature contraction of ventricles of the heart. Multiple stimuli from different parts of the atria cause atrial tachycardia. These stimuli makes the heart beat faster, 100 to 180 beats per minute creating in greater work load for the heart.

Multifocal atrial tachycardia -- more common in the elderly, this condition happens when too many signals are sent from the upper heart to the lower heart. The heart beats rapidly, anywhere from 100 to 250 beats per minute.

Junctional tachycardias are rare. It arises because of electrical impulses originating in the atrioventricular junction (an area which connects atrial and ventricular chambers). Heart rate usually is more than 75 beats per minute.

Heart rhythm is captured by potential pacemakers in the ventricles making them to contract before they get filled with blood completely. Such situation creates insufficient blood flow to the heart. A comparatively dangerous situation, can turn fatal, warns Dr Sivadas.

Dr N.P. Sivadas, Senior Specialist Cardiologist at Aster Medical Centre of D.M. Healthcare

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 11, 2011
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