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Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is a disorder found in about 2.2 million Americans. In it the heart's two small upper chambers (the atria) quiver instead of beating effectively. Blood isn't pumped completely out of them, so it may pool and clot. If a piece of a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.

How Do You Get A-FIB?

If you've had other heart problems, this could lead to diseased heart tissue which generates the extra A-Fib pulses. Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Mitral Valve disease seem to be related to A-Fib, possibly because they stretch and put pressure on the pulmonary veins where most A-Fib originates.



Tests and Procedures

The following tests or Procedures are commonly performed to diagnose and treat patients with atrial fibrillation.


Aspirin or anticoagulant in nonvalvular AF

Nonvalvular atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke by about four times. The issue is not so much whether to do anything, but rather what to do. Should treatment be with oral anticoagulants like warfarin, or with aspirin? Use of warfarin implies intermittent measurement of INR, and perhaps an increased risk of bleeding.



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