AF Association

Question

I was told by primary doctor that I have Paroxysmal AFib. One visit he heard it and one he didn't. I had EKG done at Cardiologist office and it was fine. I have been in ER quite a few times during the 2 months this has gone on. All ER EKG'S are negative. I did have pulse jumping around one visit my sister said. But it wasn't documented because I was transferred to a different hospital to have an EEG done.

So Cardiologist told me I don't have AFib. But he did give me Holter Monitor to wear for 24hrs and am having an Echo cardiogram done on Jan. 30th. I am nervous that Holter Monitor won't show anything. That it is not active when test done and he says I definitely don't have AFib. Am nervous because what if I do and it doesn't show up? Any thoughts or suggestions?

What should I expect from an echo cardiogram procedure? How long does procedure take? How long to get results?

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By your terminology you are not in UK but here an echocardiogram is about 15 to 30 mins max. You lay on your side and an operative puts some cold gel on your chest and uses the probe to move about and take readings from various parts of your heart. You may hear some loud noises as she /he records the blood flowing through valves etc and then it is over. You may get your results within an hour or so or may have to wait until the consultant has looked at them and reported to your doctor.

Regarding the 24 Holter monitor it is a well known fact that wearing one is a guarantee of no AF showing . 48 hours or longer may be better. Many people have similar problems and it is usually only when an even takes place at the hospital or you are taken to emergency that it is captured.

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Thanks. I live in US. Guess I will see what happens. Am frustrated but guess I can't do anything about it.

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As Bob says, a 24 hour monitor may not catch it. I had several ECGs at my Dr's surgery and they showed nothing untoward. It took a 7 day monitor to capture AF. I was just lucky that it happened on day 7!

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My first monitor didn't show anything. So had to go back into office for another one. I asked for 48 hr. And doctor gave me monitoring for 48 hr. Hope it shows up in that time.

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Years after a successful ablation, my AF came back a bit but was infrequent. My EP said I needed a 7 day monitor to be able to catch it, which it did. 24 hours would probably have been a waste of time.

How can your cardiologist say you don't have AF just because he hasn't caught it on a short ECG? My EP did an ECG on me, nothing there, but he said that doesn't mean a thing! Maybe you need to see someone more specialised?

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He was highly recommend actually. I read patient ratings of him on-line. They said he was a great doctor and listened. I didn't care much for him. Fingers crossed it shows up.

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Oh yes I know what that’s like I’ve just had a 5 day monitor well it went back to hospital on 22nd Dec and not heard anything yet from EP!! We know I have AF AFL and occasional SVT.... I know I’m greedy haha anyway saw EP Nov last yr decided ablation to go ahead but he needed to see the triggers and I felt at my best no kidding you for those 5 days the second the monitor was removed guess what I was living in AF for the next week or so just so typical but I do know I had an episode as I recorded it on my Kardia mobile device and I printed off ecgs from the device and enclosed them with the monitor when I returned it!! I did don’t always feel it when I have an episode I kind of call it silent AF? I don’t know if there is such a thing but I just got a gut instinct to do a recording and hey presto it said I was in possible AF (the device cannot officially diagnose it can only say possible which usually means it is AF my cardiologist is well impressed with it he says it’s as good as the hospital ecg machine so I take it from that it’s pretty accurate!!

It’s funny how the heart knows it’s attached to a machine it always happens that’s why I invested in the Kardia device at least it put my mind at rest!!

My advice go with it but 24hrs not long enough to capture it especially if it’s not regular AF

I’m still waiting for results from EP with his decision as to which procedure he will be doing

Regarding echocardiogram it’s no trouble none invasion it’s an ultra sound of your heart some lovely cold gel is placed on your chest and a probe is pressed slightly around the heart area. You will lay down and it takes about 30 minutes it’s a bit like a scan in pregnant ladies it maybe a bit uncomfortable but I’ve had 2 of these and it’s really interesting to see on the screen I was shown everything and everything explained I was impressed but not all centres do this I’m in UK and my cardiologist did mine and explained there and then.

Good luck and all the best and hope they get you sorted soon.

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My cardiologist recommend s Kardia to patients!

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Oh yes, you CAN do something about it. You can catch your own EKG with a simple Kardia device on your mobile phone or tablet. Must be Android or iOS. Yes, this will cost you (I doubt an insurance company would pay for it). Here in the UK they are £99, so I would expect no more than $150 in the USA?

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I had the monitor on for a week. My AF didn't show up.

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That sucks. I thought one day was bad. I have to wear a tank top over my t-shirt to keep it in place. I have it around my neck.

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Mine never showed up on hospital recordings or 24 hr monitoring but I bought a Kardia and was able to catch classic AF, I took it to GP and then cardiologist and the rest is history. Best £99 I ever spent.

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Agree with momist. Kardia is like a mini EKG machine. Whenever you suspect you are having an episode you can capture it on this, print it out or email it to your doctor. It is very useful. A lot of us have had problems getting diagnoses in the early stages of this condition. This machine solves this problem. Good luck🍀

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Sounds like a good machine. I am on disability for my MS, so I don't have that kind of money to spend.

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Sorry - that's a good point. Not everyone can afford one. I have no answer to that. Ask your doctor if they would consider getting one for the surgery to lend to patients. Any better off relatives who might help. Good luck 🍀

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I've seen my electrophysiologist/cardiologist 12+ times in the last three years, and actual AF episode was caught only 2 times on ECG. It's not always present (it comes and goes), so definitely not unusual that the ECG hasn't picked it up.

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He should know after all he is a heart specialist right? Makes me wonder.

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Along with the Kardia for personal use there are other pocket monitors and your doctor may be able to loan one to you so that an event can be captured and studied. This can be less tedious than a 7 day 3 lead monitor which can get very itchy and fail to record any events.

An echocardiogram may show up enlargement of the left atrium which can indicate AF has been occurring.

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Karina

This sort of situation seems all too familiar and is an obvious weakness in cardiology department protocols for investigating presyncope.

You said your new GP was switched on to cardio matters. Ask them to get involved by talking direct to the cardio again. You need someone to advocate for you.

I think you should find a way to get a KARDIA, it can cut through all this frustration. As you are on disability, can that office help?

If the Holter is negative, and you are convinced about there being a connection between your symptoms and AF, press for a 30 day event monitor.

In matters like this you have to be Ms Awkward and refuse to take no for an answer.

Don't give up, you will get to the bottom of this eventually, one way or the other. Many of us have trodden this path 🙂

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