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Is shortness of breath a sign of atrial fibrillation?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Dec 2016
Dec 2016
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Cardiologist
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 621 Questions
Question
I went to a XXXXXXX healthcare unit today and had a number of tests conducted including an EKG. Things went well generally. However, the technician told me that he had picked up evidence of atrial fibrillation on the EKG. I am a 66 year old male. I had open heart surgery in 2009 for four blocked arteries, and had one stent put in in 2010 and another in 2011. Given the evidence of atrial fibrillation found by the technician, do I need to rush to the hospital right away or would it be OK if I make an appointment with my cardiologist, to see home as soon as possible? I have no symptoms except maybe shortness of breath. What should I do?
Thanks.
Posted Fri, 21 Apr 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rishu Saxena 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Atrial fibrillation is normally not an emergency.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for choosing HealthcareMagic for your query,

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common and well tolerated chronic arrythmia encountered in patients post cardiac interventions. Please don't panic as you seem to be stable, you need not rush to emergency. Try to take appointment with a cardiologist. Get a 2D-Echocardiography done and keep reports handy.

Your Doctor will revert abnormal rythm to normal either by adding medications like Amiodarone or Diltiazem. However in some case of chronic AF, cardioversion is required.

2D-Echo should be done to rule out possibilty of clot or thrombus in left atrium.

Please post the EKG here, I want to go through it once. You can simply upload/attach it at the reports section of this web page.

Thanks.

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