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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the common types of arrhythmias?

    I recently gave birth to a daughter who was born with arrhythmias. My husband I are trying to do some more background research on arrhythmias. What are the common types and how do they differ from one another?
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    Dr Andrei Catanchin

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr Catanchin is a cardiologist and electrophysiologist managing atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm disorders with medication, devices (ie. pacemakers, defibrillators) and catheter ablation. He … View Profile

    Put very simply, arrhythmias may be from the atria, the ventricles or in between (the AV node). It's impossible to comment further without knowing a little more about your daughter's diagnosis and the conditions seen in adults can be very different to those in children.

    In infants with an otherwise normal heart the commonest significant arrhythmia would be related to an accessory pathway (an extra connection between the atria and ventricles), creating a circuit - eg. signals pass from the atria to the ventricles via the AV node and back up to the atria via the accessory pathway (or vice versa).

    Infants very rarely have atrial fibrillation which is the commonest significant arrhythmia in adults. I use the word significant because strictly the commonest rhythm disturbances are ectopic beats (either atrial or ventricular), which are almost always completely benign.

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