AF Association

What is the difference between extra beats and AF

I am sitting at home when I should be at work!!! after a period of AF last night, that left me with very little sleep and feeling very drained.

I ask the question because at my last consultation with my EP, My heart went out of rhythm as I spoke to him. He felt my pulse and said that it was just extra beats. Now my attack last night (which lasted much longer) felt very similar. So did I have an attack of extra beats or AF?

2 Replies

Extra or ectopic beats are totally different from AF. All people get them up to 200 a day I am told. I understand the problem as I get these clusters which often feel like dropped beats rather than extra ones. AF is a specific lack of organised beats , the atria writhes like a bag of worms rather than doing any pumping and show up as chaotic lines on an ecg. The only way to be sure what you are getting is by capturing them on ecg which may require you to wear a monitor for a period of time. This can be very frustrating finding them in the short term and some people end up with an implantable loop recorder tucked into their chest in order for the doctors to see just what is going on.

Sorry I can't be more helpful but that gives you some idea of what happens



Thanks for that, and yes I have worn a monitor and have been diagnosed with AF. Its just that at my consultation he was a bit dismissive and said it was just extra beats on that occasion.

Confused I am!!!


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