The four main types of arrhythmia are premature beats, supraventricular arrhythmias, ventricular arrhythmias, and bradyarrhythmias.
Premature beats are the most common type of arrhythmia. They're harmless most of the time and often don't cause any symptoms.
When symptoms do occur, they usually feel like fluttering in the chest or a feeling of a skipped beat. Most of the time, premature beats need no treatment, especially in healthy people.
Premature beats that occur in the atria are called premature atrial contractions, or PACs. Premature beats that occur in the ventricles are called premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs.
Supraventricular arrhythmias are tachycardias that start in the atria or the atrioventricular (AV) node. The AV node is a group of cells located between the atria and the ventricles.
Types of supraventricular arrhythmias include atrial fibrillation (AF), atrial flutter, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), and Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome.
These arrhythmias start in the ventricles. They can be very dangerous and usually need medical attention right away.
Ventricular arrhythmias include ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation (v-fib). Coronary heart disease, heart attack, weakened heart muscle, and other problems can cause ventricular arrhythmias.
Bradyarrhythmias are arrhythmias in which the heart rate is slower than normal. If the heart rate is too slow, not enough blood reaches the brain. This can cause you to lose consciousness.
Bradyarrhythmias can be caused by:
- Heart attack
- Conditions that harm or change the heart's electrical activity, such as an underactive thyroid gland or aging
- An imbalance of chemicals or other substances, such as potassium, in the blood Some medicines, such as beta blockers
Arrhythmias in Children
Some children are born with heart defects that cause arrhythmias. In other children, arrhythmias can develop later in childhood. Doctors use the same tests to diagnose arrhythmias in children and adults.
This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.The four main types of arrhythmia are premature beats, supraventricular arrhythmias, ventricular arrhythmias, and bradyarrhythmias. Premature Beats Premature beats are the most common type of arrhythmia. They're harmless most of the time and often... More
There are several different types of arrhythmias, a condition associated with irregular or abnormal heart beat rates. Arrythmia is classified as atrial (arising from the upper chambers of the heart) or ventricular (arising from the lower chambers of the heart). The arrythmias arising from the upper chambers of the heart are not life threatening but can be difficult to treat. These include atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Several types of medications are used to keep the heart rate controlled and to convert the arrhythmia into normal rhythms. Blood thinning medications are usually used in patients with long-term atrial arrythmias due to the risk of clots forming in the heart and the potential for stroke.
Ventricular arrhythmias, which originate in the lower chambers of the heart, are potentially more serious and life threatening. Ventricular tachycardia, characterized by a heart rate of between 125 and 250 beats per minute, can be treated with medication, but may require placement of an internal defibrillator to shock the heart if this arrhythmia persists. Ventricular tachycardia can worsen and head to ventricular fibrillation, which is also treated by shocking the heart. If left untreated, ventricular fibrillation will result in death.Disturbances of the electrical pacemaker of the heart (sinus node dysfunction) and disturbances of the conduction system of the heart (heart block) are other types of arrhythmias that may require pacemaker placement.There are several different types of arrhythmias, a condition associated with irregular or abnormal heart beat rates. Arrythmia is classified as atrial (arising from the upper chambers of the heart) or ventricular (arising from the lower chambers of... More
Arrhythmias cause a variety of problems that range from mild to severe. They include:
Arrhythmias cause a variety of problems that range from mild to severe. They include: Premature Heartbeats Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (also called SVT) Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (also... More
- Premature Heartbeats
- Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter
- Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (also called SVT)
- Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (also called WPW)
- Ventricular Tachycardia
- Ventricular Fibrillation