Can PAF just disappear?: I am 51 and was... - AF Association

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Can PAF just disappear?


I am 51 and was diagnosed with PAF 4 years ago. It was initially triggered by cold drinks and gradually became more frequent with longer episodes. I also had frequent ectopics . I started flecanide last year but had some longer episodes in December and was advised I would benefit from ablation. Whilst contemplating this my symptoms have all but disappeared and I have stopped the flecanide. I am obviously relieved but also a bit baffled as nothing in my life has changed and I was told AF only gets worse over time which mine was doing. Even the ectopics have as good as gone.Has anyone else had a similar experience and should I just be grateful it appears to have gone for now but stay mindful it may return at some point?

6 Replies

I think the answer is yes to all points. AF IS normally a progressive condition but we are all different. Since you obviously have the necessary pre-disposition for AF then it could return at any time.

There is also the possibility that you are having AF and not knowing., Many people only find out that they have AF either during an unrelated medical examination or if they are unfortunate to have an AF related stroke. You can be asymptomatic and not know.

Dawfor in reply to BobD

Thanks for responding Bob D. I had also wondered about asymptomatic episodes but I have always been very symptomatic when in AF so think it’s unlikely. I forgot to ask the Arrythmia nurse I saw recently whether someone could suddenly have asymptomatic episodes and if a holter monitor might pick them up.I guess I should just consider myself lucky and just wait and see if anything happens. Many thanks for your input.

My younger sister used to have bouts of AF many years ago, none of them lasting very long and then they suddenly disappeared. A few years ago she had part of one of her lungs removed due to cancer and immediately after the procedure her heart raced. I think major surgery can prompt it, also any infections in the body.

It's still early days to say that your AF has disappeared if you were still having bouts of it last December. My first AF attacks 13 years ago were widely spaced, but over the years increased until I could never go more than six weeks without one. I've had three ablations and still have AF, but taking Flecainide has reduced the severity.


Dawfor in reply to jeanjeannie50

Hi Jean. Many thanks for this. It’s interesting you and your sister both have AF as my brother was also diagnosed with it last year. I know it’s too early to say it has gone but I am very used to having 3 or 4 shorter episodes of AF a week and then had several longer ones closer together. It feels strange not to have them and although it may sound weird, at the moment I don’t feel like it will come back. As I mentioned in my first post I used to have lots of ectopics which have also all but disappeared. I did wonder if my peri-menopausal state may be giving me some sort of protection but I can’t find any evidence to support this. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot with your AF. I hope things stay relatively settled with the flecainide.

Yes - my AF went quiet for a couple of years before diagnosis. In 2007 I started having what I now know were occasional isolated episodes of PAF. They stopped in 2010 and I assumed what I thought were panic attacks were over and forgot about them.

An episode in 2014 led to diagnosis and subsequent drug treatment.

In 2010 I stopped using solvents in my oil painting, having linked them to my funny attacks. It may be that you have also removed a trigger or it’s just AF being capricious. Either way, enjoy NSR and have the PIP Flecainide handy.

Interesting how you had such a long gap between episodes and that you identified what I imagine is an unusual trigger.I had resigned myself to having an ablation as it seemed to be progressing but now glad I waited awhile. I realise how lucky I am not to have had any episodes for a while but will take each day as it comes and certainly won’t throw the flecanide away just yet!

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