Perplexed by AliveCor Kardia readings - AF Association

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Perplexed by AliveCor Kardia readings

Hi - I've been reading and lurking for a while and trying to learn what I can from all of you - thank you all for so much helpful info! My EP seems to lump anything irregular as "afib", which really doesn't help me learn what different heart rates/rhythms mean. So, I'm trying to use Kardia readings to learn more, so I can go into my next appt with more informed questions. These kardia readings are representative of the types of readings I get when things aren't "normal." Two say "possible afib" One says "unclassified". Any hints about what I'm seeing here? Thanks for any help.

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I understand your confusion. I think you might just wait to see your doctor. Not sure if there are any doctors on the posts who might help. I tried to use google but it wasn’t helpful either. I figured I would take mine into my next appt. so we can chat about it.

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If you look on the library on the Kardia app you will find a description of the main arrythmias. You can learn a lot from there.

The problem with reading a Kardia - as I understand it - is that it designed to pick up AFib & AFL but because it is what is called a single lead - rather than a 12 lead - it is not always possible to see a complete picture. It is a reasonable indicator but not an accurate one of what your heart is doing.

I’m no expert but the top one maybe AFib but the best way to check is to get piece of paper and pencil, put against the line, with pencil put dot on paper adjacent to 2 of the ST waves and then move the paper along the line to see if the other ST line up - if not - it is an irregular rythm and most likely AF, if they do line up then more likely to be tachycardia. The absence of a P wave also indicates AF. Certainly there is tachycardia = fast HR.

The bottom line looks like multiple ectopics and quite chaotic - which is exactly like my readings are when I am coming out of AF - takes a while to settle down.

Proviso - only what I have learned as a patient - I am not a medic.

Best wishes

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Your 'possible AF' looks pretty regular compared to my AF, the bottom line looks pretty crazy and I would say it is interference but only you would know if that was a possibility. I showed my cardiologist a recording of what I thought was bigeminy and he thought it might be slow AF but without a full ECG he couldn't tell, too much 'artefact'. I spent many a happy hour at one time trying to interpret Kardia recordings but it was mostly a waste of time, however it is worth being able to recognise both kinds of ectopics.

The main usefulness for your EP is to show how many episodes you have and prove they are AF, also possibly show duration of episodes.

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PS If you convert to PDF it will show little marks where the electrical impulses are and it is easier to measure that way if you want to try the paper method.

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Reading and understanding ECG traces is a skill few can pick up in less than many years of training. Even many doctors fail at this so best not to try to be too clever. Add in that Kardia is only a small part of the electrical activity in your heart and you are bound to fail. Concentrate on enjoying life with distracting activities.

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Thanks everyone for your advice. Reassuring to compare notes. Seeing my EP tomorrow, he changed my meds 10 days ago and my heart has settled down quite a bit. I'm 3 months out from a 2nd ablation and have lots of questions for the dr, he's just not very forthcoming with answers. He's more of a "don't worry, you'll be ok" kind of doctor. As someone with a research background and who has worked with scientists and engineers for a long time, I do better with information! :)

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An update.... saw my EP last week. Told him I had questions, and as predicted told me not to worry about the details. I reassured him that I’m wasn’t worried, I just like to have lots of information and data and would really appreciate 5 minutes of “education” time from him. At which point he settled down and shared lots of info, and treated me like an intelligent patient!! Even got into talking about areas of new research. I was ready to jump ship and switch doctors, but will stick with him for now. Funny, I was always a fairly fierce and persistent health care advocate for my parents throughout all their illnesses, have a much harder time of doing it for myself. Anyone else have that experience?

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