Health Conditions - For Everyone

Diagnosis of Arrhythmia
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Diagnosis of arrhythmia

Arrhythmia is diagnosed through a series of tests to determine the cause and type of the arrhythmia and to work out if it is serious (and life threatening) or just an abnormality that is not going to cause adverse health effects.

Electrocardiography (ECG)

The most common (and main) test for arrhythmia is the electrocardiography (ECG). The ECG shows how the electrical impulses in the heart are working; during an ECG, small patches are places on various parts of the chest, arms and legs, to which electrical leads (from an ECG machine) are attached; this records the electrical activity of the heart over a specific period to determine arrhythmia activity.

There are three types of ECG tests that can be performed:



This is basically an ultrasound of the heart and is the next most common diagnostic test to rule out structural problems with the heart that may be causing the arrhythmia.

A special ultrasound machine called an echocardiogram is used in a similar way as a regular ultrasound machine. A special rod (covered in some gel to help it roll over the chest area) is used to get a picture of the heart - the atria, ventricles and other parts - to determine if there are any structural problems of the heart, including blockages, that may be causing the arrhythmia.

Electrophysiology studies

This is done to work out what is going on in the heart to cause the arrhythmias; during this test, special thin tubes are inserted into a large vein (usually in the legs) and taken up to the heart in order to record the heart's electrical impulses and test the heart's response to stimulus.

Tilt table studies

This test is done to determine if there are sudden drops in blood pressure or slow pulse rates when the person is strapped to a table, hooked up to an electrocardiogram and blood pressure monitor and tilted at different angle in quick succession. The electrocardiogram will provide electrical activity of the heart and the blood pressure monitor will provide blood pressure results at the different tilts.


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  Last reviewed: 27 October 2007 || Last updated: 9 January 2009


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NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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