AF Association

Types of heartbeat?

been back to cardio,again. i take the bisprolol of which the dose has been upped three times,along with a statin and an aspirin. they now want me to wear a monitor for two weeks during which they want me to induce my af so they can see which rhythm i go into so that they can possibly change or modify the tablets. i did find it hard to understand what the cardio said so would be grateful if someone could explain how many rhythms?there are?

6 Replies

The short answer is chaotic! Some people have fast AF where their rate goes through the roof.whilst others have a chaotic slow rate. It is not a good idea to give beta blockers to somebody with a slow rate as it could slow the rate even further to a dangerous level. In addition to AF there are various tacycardias (fast rhythms) and our old favourite Ectopics where you feel missed beats, It is actually an extra one slipped in but feel like a missed. one. A monitor will show the EP or cardio what is actually happening.

Hope that helps.



thanks bob i "think" im a bit wiser now! just a ball question though.when this a/f came to light 4 yrs ago i was on the cusp of being connected to the mains to put it back in rhythm.would,nt you think that they would have known then which one it was? or can it change,ie deteriorate or improve willy nily?



My arrhythmia has changed a lot over the years. It was what I would call normal AF as I read people's descriptions on here. That was "cured" at least for now and I'm now in sinus apparently. But I have an irregular heart beat which may be a contradiction in terms, I wouldn't know. Without drugs, my pulse is not normal (ectopics I assume). What I have now is a totally different feeling. It's lower in the chest and more central, and a stronger. Don't know what it is yet, so due for an EP Study (I hope) and they will go inside me and find out exactly what's going on.

So at least with me, yes, it has developed / changed over a 20 year period.

A two week monitor should tell them a lot, so good luck with it.



Hi Makeawish

Can I approach your question slightly differently? Have you ever seen what comes out of a 12 lead ECG?

Have a look here

That's a "normal" person, and each of those lines are taken from a different lead and mean different things, and then look in between the big blips, see all those smaller and in between blips?

Now look here at just some of the variations that are possible.

You can browse around this site to your "heart's content" if you are anything like me, you will realise that there is an easy way to read an ECG which is what most GPs and doctors do, and it just tells then the superficial story.

And then there's the years of training and specialism that results in a EP who can look not just at a current ECG but also at previous ones, and tell you what is happening, and what is getting better or worse.

So my anwer to your question how many different rhythms are there, is superfically probably no more than 5 or 6, but to an EP, almost as many as there are people on the planet, as everyone will be slightly different.

Good luck



Thankyou so much Beancounter, I could have done with this information earlier on in the piece - as was explained to me the first and only time with an EP - I was told that the arrythmia I had was complex that's all which didn't explain much. Since then I have had ECG's with normal sequence and although they give me the ECG results, it didn't really give me something to compare it with. I Have AF/SVT, originally SVT but they were unsure, so its firing at a fast rate all around the heart area. Is there any way to get copies of ecg results from the hospital? I need to be more informed before getting another opinion. I am under a general Cardiologist locally.


Thank you so much Beancounter for the links above, so helpful. Whenever I have an ECG I always ask for a copy.


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