AF Association
12,871 members15,699 posts

Abbreviated Terms

Hi everyone hope you are all having a goodish day on Planet A F. I was encouraged to ask questions following my first post so here goes. There are a bewildering number of Abbreviated terms which I am trying to decipher as follows... PAF ,PIP, CHAD/VASC, Ventricular Rate, NOAC, PVC'S, PAC's, Ablation, AV Node Ablation, DC Cardioverted, Sinus Rhythm, QOL, PVC'S, Vagally Mediated, Vagal AF, PVI. I feel a bit foolish asking but it would be helpful if Newbies like me could understand the terms from the start. As I get round to reading more posts the terminology will make sense.

Kind Regards


16 Replies

There may be a list somewhere.

PAF is usually paroxysmal atrial fibrillation - it comes and goes and isn't there all the time. There's also persistent atrial fibrillation which doesn't stop on its own or with a pill-in-the-pocket and needs to be shifted by a cardioversion. There is also permanent atrial fibrillation which is there all the time and doesn't respond to cardioversion.

PIP (pill-in-the-pocket as above) is something like the antiarrhythmic drug flecainide which can be taken when required to stop atrial fibrillation - hopefully. Some people take flecainide on a daily basis, some just when needed and those on a low dose can do both.

I think there's just been an explanation of CHAD/VASC earlier. *

I'll let someone else take over or point us to a list of definitions.

1 like

* It was on the link mentioned in the CHADS post by sportscoach

It is a way of assessing the risk of stroke by giving points for various things like congestive heart failure (C), high blood pressure (H), age (A), diabetes(D) and S for stroke.


And gender us ladies apparently are more prone to strokes yuk!!


Perhaps more women have strokes because, once you get to old age, there are more women than men. It's very many years since I did Economics but at the time there were more boys than girls until age 18 when they were about even and by age 80 there were two women for every man.


I have a feeling I may be the person with permanent atrial fibrillation. 5 years ago cardio version worked and stopped the AFIB. Now in 2017 when it started the cardio version did not work except for about a day and a half. Had the Ablation and it worked for about 3 days. Since then it is always there. It has been a month and go see my EP on the 18th of October. I am a little nervous, but am hoping that he will say give it the full 3 month he talked about and I have heard on here. I am also on a water pill daily and missed it on Saturday and Sunday morning missed it as I was going to church . By the time I remembered it it was 3 in the afternoon. Breathing was awful. Thank God after taking it the evening got some better. I have learned my lesson don't missed that little white pill. Hope to hear that this will get better. The shortness of breath is really taking things away from my everyday life.


I think I goofed again. I should not have posted my reply on this site. I should have kept it to the abbreviations. Hopefully I learn how to navigate this group.


I was/sometimes still am in the same position .... flummoxed by abbreviations here. What I do is just google whatever it is and usually I find the answer.

However ..

PIP = Pill in Pocket = medication taken as when needed rather than regularly

QOL = Quality of life

NOAC = New oral anti coagulant (eg apixaban) 'New' when compared with warfarin.

I'm sure others here will jump in with definitions for more of your terms.

Hope that helps a bit.


Hello Mo - I too found it bewildering at the start and used to read the forum with 2 windows open - one for the forum and one for Wikipedia to help me decipher. There is a list of terms on the main AFA website but some of the list are

Novel Oral Anti-Coagulant

Pill in the Pocket

Paroxysmal A F

Premature Ventricular Contraction

Premature Atrial Contraction

Quality of Life

Pulmonary Vein Isolation

1 like

Just remembered - I used to wonder why so many posters talked about crying, until I found out that sob referred to Shortness of Breath!


Lol! Thanks for the chuckle today!


Hi Maureens

PAF Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, it comes and goes in episodes unlike persistent AF where you are in AF all the time

PIP Pill in Pocket, to be taken when you have an episdoe

CHAD2Vasc is a scoring system for stroke risk when you have AF, it shows the additional risk you have of stroke

Ventricular rate to keep it simple I will call heart beat, it's the one that is measured when you take your pulse, the Atrial rate especially when in AF will differ wildly

NOAC is Novel Oral Anticoagulant, or the new anti-coagulants not warfarin or heparin, these do not require regular blood tests

PVC Premature Ventricular contractions, extra beats that make your heart feel like it's flip flopping

PACs similar to a PVC but this is a premature atrial contraction, they often result in PVCs

Ablation, is a procedure to try and change the electrical pathways in the heart and briong you back into NSR (Normal sinus Rhythm)

AV Node ablation is a procedure where the AV node is taken out of the electrical pathways, has to be done alongside the insertion of a pacemaker to control the heart.

DC Cardioverted, and Cardioversion, is another procedure hooking you up to electrical paddles to bring the heart into NSR (see above) usually done unde anaesthetic if planned, take a few minutes only..

Sinus Rhythm or NSR is what we all crave, normal heart beat

QOL Quality of LIfe, usual measure for decision whether or not to have an ablation.

PVCs see above repeated

Vagal Mediated and Vagal AF, means Atrial Fibrillation which is linked to the vagal nerve, much more research needed on this search vagal on this forum for more information

PVI Pulmonary vein isolation, usually the result of an ablation, but can be done in other ways (I think)

Hope this helps

Be well



Hi Beencounter and all who have responded to my request for a breakdown of Abbreviated terms. I now have a reference Library to which I will refer. Now off to sit in a darkened room and revise them. Many tks.




NOAC - Novel Oral Anti-Coagulant. This includes 'newer' types of anticoagulants that are Not Vitamin K antagonists (Vitamin K Antagonists would include Warfarin). Apixaban, Dabigatran, rivaroxaban, edoxaban are all NOACS . Noacs are considered just as, or more effective than Warfarin, and generally have a lower bleeding risk as well.

PVC - premature ventricular complex/contraction. These are premature heart beats that originate in the ventricles. the may be felt as a skipped beat. They are considered benign in a structurally healthy heart.

PAC- premature atrial complex/contraction. These are premature heart beats that originate in the Atria. the may be felt as a skipped beat, or a thud in the chest, similarly to PVCs, they are considered benign in a structurally healthy heart.

QOL- Quality of Life

Sinus Rhythm- normal heart rhythm (NOT in arythmia). The beat's impulses come from the Sinus node, the normal pacemaker area for the heart.

For more information on the heart and arythmia, I highly recommend watching the videos made by Dr. Sanjay Gupta of York Cardiology. Often members will post links here. He offers very clear and concise explanations:)


Let me give CHADS2 score as per Steven Reinberg of the HealthDay. " The CHADS2 score breaks down this way: C stands for congestive heart failure, H for high blood pressure, A for age 75 or older, and D for diabetes. S stands for stroke, and the 2 gives an extra point for a previous stroke."


What an enlightening post! I've copied and pasted all these terms....they'll not catch ME out again! 😊

1 like

Thanks so much for sharing this as i was having a really hard time understanding what I was reading. this old brain needs much help.


You may also like...