Atrial fibrillation

Right and left atria of heart with details showing fibrillation in an atrium, and EKG patterns of fibrillation and normal rhythm.

In atrial fibrillation, erratic electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (atria) cause those chambers to fibrillate, or quiver. This results in an irregular and frequently rapid heart rate. The irregular pattern in the electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) tracing shows these erratic impulses.

Current as of: August 31, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
John M. Miller MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine

Atrial fibrillation