Diagnosis of AFib

Diagnosis of AFib


What Is Involved in Getting A Diagnosis of AFib?


If you or your doctor suspect that you have atrial fibrillation, there are several helpful tests that can be used to diagnose whether you have AFib. In addition, other heart-related tests may be ordered to provide a complete picture of any other possible problems that may either contribute to AFib or be causing some of the symptoms you may be experiencing. These tests can help reveal any underlying heart disease or structural issues such as enlargement of the atria or heart valve malfunction. These are especially important when you are scheduled to undergo a procedure for atrial fibrillation.

Common helpful tests to diagnose atrial fibrillation:

What is an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)?

An electrocardiogram is a test that measures and charts the electrical activity of the heartbeat. The result provides a readout of the patterns, or rhythms, of the important phases of a heartbeat pattern.

What is an Electrophysiology Study (EPS)?

An electrophysiology study is a catheter-based test that helps doctors understand the causes of your abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and more closely investigate possible treatments to help you.

Monitoring Your Heart Rhythm

There are several types of monitors that may help provide additional information to your healthcare provider. These can be helpful for arriving at an accurate diagnosis, and they may also be useful for evaluating the changes after a medication has been started or a procedure has been performed.

You may be asked to wear a Holter monitor to see if you have a slow, fast or irregular (uneven) heartbeat. 

Additional Testing for Possible Causes and Effects

Although some (very few) people truly have what is called “lone AFib,” or atrial fibrillation that seems unrelated to any other existing problem, many people develop atrial fibrillation in response to another problem that is going on in or around the heart.

Diagnosing Atrial Fibrillation in Children

Does your child have atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib)? Or do you wonder about the possibility because your child tires easily and has pounding, irregular, or fast heartbeats? Here are some facts you should know.

Recent Discussions From The Providers Office Forum
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?

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.

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