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Atrial Fibrillation
  • Introduction 
    • atria beat at 350-600 bpm with chaotic and erratic baseline (irregularly irregular)
    • can cause atrial stasis resulting in thrombus formation
      • may lead to stroke 
    • AV nodal refractory period determines ventricular rate 
  • Presentation
    • EKG
      • no discrete P waves 
      • irregularly spaced QRS complexes
  • Treatment
    • rate control: β-blocker or calcium channel blocker
    • prevention of stroke: warfarin or aspirin as prophylaxis against thromboembolism
      • decision to anticoagulate usually determined using CHADS2 score
Atrial Flutter
  • Introduction
    • atria beat at 180-350 bpm with identical, back-to-back atrial depolarization waves
  • Presentation
    • EKG
      • the identical "sawtooth" flutter P-waves
  • Treatment
    • convert to sinus rhythm
    • class IA, IC, or III antiarrhythmics 
 

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