AF Association
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Situs inversus dextrocardia

Hi, newbie here and been following this site for 6wks or so after I was diagnosed with af. Never had any problems with my heart until the last five years or so when it was kind of bouncing and racing but these episodes were few and far between. Then they got more frequent and was forced to go to A&E because it was so severe. When I got there my heart rate was 181 and was eventually controlled over 24 hours. The reason I write this is because I was getting different opinions from doctors because some thought it was connected to heart being on opposite side. Has anyone else in the forum got this condition? And if so any advice would be welcome. Just looking for piece of mind and I think everyone on the forum are so helpful in trying to answer any questions. X

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Hi Sarah,

the situs inversos (dextrcardia) is a rare situation. Your docs, who considered your dextrocardia as special case, which requires extra attention are care very carefull.

Myself is afibber and MD. Some times it has the advantage, that I can easier check a problem in the literature. Basically I found three so called cases studies of afibbers with dextrocardia. The case study means, that the case is very rare and therefore it is usually published in the literature.

- The first paper described a case of a patient with dextrocardia where the fibrillations where developed because of the dextrocradia,

- The second paper described an even more extremely rare situation where the patient with dextrocardia and afib was combined with an independent cardiac dissease, that resulted in worthening of patient status.

- The third paper decribed the cryablation of a patient who had afib with dextrocardia. This paper is important for the collegues, because due to the rare anatomical situation they have to redisign the protocol of the ablation.

So the take home message is that your docs are careful, likely you will get the best treatment.

Good luck:

Mercurius

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Hi mercurial, thank you so much for looking into my situation. Had an echo done and seems to be no other problem with my heart so doctors quite happy with verapamil and warfarin at present but keeping a eye on me. So far I have had no more episodes but it the not knowing when it will start again. Thanks again.

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Hi,

the ECHO is an excellent news. Concerning the aFib episodes as a "veteran" agfibber can say, that afib episodes might return but if they are rare or asymptomatic, soon or later we learn how to live it with a good life.

So use the the Verapamil and keep in contacts with your docs :).

All the best:

Mercurius

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I will mercurius and intend to enjoy life and try not to let af get me down. Thanks.

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You can have AF for many many reasons and I doubt that your condition is relevant to you having AF. It may make treatment difficult as Mercurius has pointed out but it is unlikely to be a reason for you having it.

In UK alone over a million people are diagnosed with AF which is the most common reported arrhythmia and many more not discovered.

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You must confuse most doctors you see and students will be enthralled.

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Yes I do and had students looking in when I was in hospital. It's funny when they doing an heart trace and attach wires back to front then have to start all over again!!

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Hi Sarah

I had Afib and also have Dextracardia with situs inversus. It is definitely worth getting checked out by an adult congenital heart specialist, I felt so much happier when I had done so. I say I had A fib because I recently had an ablation which has worked really well and now have a much better heart rhythm

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Thanks for your reply, I have got a cardiologist but not really getting much information from him? Seen him once since first diagnosis July 2017? So don't know what to do next. GP trying to be very helpful but feel I'm in limbo!

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I had a cardiologist for the first 3 years and then got referred to the congenital heart specialist. What I thought for the first 48yrs of my life was just a straightforward dextracardia with situs inversus was a little more complicated. Once with the congenital heart specialist they really understood the issues. Do ask for a referral to a congenital heart specialist - it is worth trying.

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Will bring it up at next appointment. Thank you for pointing me in that direction.

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