Restoring normal sinus rhythm: What is it?

What is a Normal Sinus Rhythm?

In addition to managing your stroke risks, you and your provider may consider strategies to help you achieve what is called “normal sinus rhythm.”

What is the definition of “cured” for atrial fibrillation?

A regular pumping rhythm is an important goal, and many people who are able to achieve long-term stability with their sinus rhythm feel that their AFib is “cured.” The possibility of a lasting “cure” is most likely for people who have episodes of AFib that come and go (called paroxysmal AFib). This group is likely to have fewer complications and may experience rapid treatment success.

What is a normal sinus rhythm? Understanding Your Heart’s Electrical System

The Heartbeat Starting Point: Your SA Node The heart beats (or contracts) when an electrical impulse from the sinoatrial node (also called the SA node or sinus node) moves through the tissue of the heart. The SA node is sometimes referred to as the heart's "natural pacemaker" because it initiates impulses for the heartbeat.

The Orderly Signals For Normal Heartbeats: The normal electrical sequence begins in the right atrium and spreads throughout the atria to the atrioventricular (AV) node. From the AV node, electrical impulses travel down a group of specialized fibers called the His-Purkinje system to all parts of the ventricles.

This exact route must be followed for the heart to pump properly. As long as the electrical impulse is transmitted normally, the heart pumps and beats at a regular pace. In an adult, a normal heart beats 60 to 100 times a minute. When everything works correctly, your heart is said to be in “normal sinus rhythm.”

Atrial Fibrillation and Erratic Heartbeats: During atrial fibrillation, the sinus rhythm is disrupted and contraction signals may fire erratically from various places in the heart tissue or the nearby veins, often causing uncoordinated, fast or irregular contractions throughout the tissue and muscle around the heart. This uncoordinated timing creates a risk for blood clots to develop that can lead to stroke, so achieving a normal sinus rhythm and adhering to any clot-prevention strategies your healthcare provider advises for you are important goals.

Many people with AFib consider their condition to be cured when they achieve normal sinus rhythm and are able to maintain for a period of years. However, follow up treatment will continue to be important. A significant portion of those with AFib are unaware of any symptoms, so it is not a good idea to disregard recommended follow-up visits simply because you do not notice anything wrong.

Learn more about the normal heartbeat and atrial fibrillation.

Recent Discussions From The Providers Office Forum
Deb M avatar

I am going into the hospital next Wednesday for "tikosyn load". My doctor's office is not very forthcoming with information. Can anyone tell me what to expect? How is the load done and monitored? Is the load constant through IV or only at particular times? Do you have to actually lay in a bed for 3 days or can you get up and move around? Can you shower? What should you take to the hospital with you? Were you able to have visitors? How long before you can resume normal activies when you return home? Has being on this medication changed your life style?I would appreciate any advice anyone has. Thank you.

Marcolandin avatar

Does anyone know a great doctor for afib in Houston, everyone tells me to go to st. Luke’s hospital but I would like something more specific. I had an ablation last year and I still go into afib everyday. I even was placed on more meds. I’m 34 and I know there is no “cure” but going into afib everyday keeps me from working out and enjoying trips with friends and family. Thank you for the help

Geronimo avatar

I've had Afib for over a year and during that time have had an ablation and 10+ Cardioversions. I went back into AFib 3 weeks ago and couldn't be cardioverted out this time so question on the table is if I should go back for the 2nd Ablation. I'm wondering if I should just live with the symptoms or go for the 2nd ablation. The past year hasn't been fun living in constant fear of when/if I will go back into Afib, looking out for possible triggers (no canfine, no alchohol, limited excercise, etc.)  not to mention I hate being Cardioverted every 40-90 days. It seems like I might be better off just accepting my persistent Afib with the associated sysmptoms and living my life as is. Has anyone else gone through this thought process? Any idea of what the long term impact is if I take this course of action?

dark overlay when lightbox active