Arrhythmia Alliance

Sinus Tachycardia/Atrial Tachycardia?

Sinus Tachycardia/Atrial Tachycardia?

I have an Alive Cor that I have been using to track my heart rhythm. Last two days I have had a skip and then my heart takes off. It takes off but gradually comes down. I sent in the EKG for a clinic review by a cardiologist and one said serious need to follow up immediately with a doc (diagnosis was sinus tachycardia but cant rule out an atrial tachyardia rhythm) or PAT they called it, the other doctor just said it needed review by a doctor and said the same thing Sinus Tachycardia or possible Atrial Tachycardia. What is atrial tachyardia and how can they not tell which one it is? My rate was 154. The heart rate started suddenly but gradually went down. I am not nervous and dont know what to do.

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Hi Skipolot ( love your name lol),

I was diagnosed with atrial tachycardia 3 years ago. First of all, let me assure you, as I was assured, that it is not a "life- threatening" arrhythmia. Basically atrial tachycardia just means that their is a spot or "spots" in the upper chambers of the heart that are beating too fast and the lower chambers ( ventricles) respond. "PAT" stands for Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia- in other words "intermittent tachycardia". Sinus tachycardia is a fast rhythm too, but it originates in the SA Node in response to normal stimuli like fear, exercise, anxiety etc. and is normal in those circumstances. Mine was diagnosed by ekg and also by heart monitor that I wore for 3 weeks. To answer your question - yes they can differentiate between the two rhythms by the rhythm strip. Maybe your strip wasn't quite clear enough for them to see all the "waves" needed to diagnose for certain.

If it happens too frequently like mine was and is affecting your quality of life, it can sometimes be controlled by ablation or meds. Mine was multi focal and the doctor did not feel he could guarantee a positive result by ablation, therefore I opted for medication ( flecainide).

Atrial Fib is sometimes lumped into the category of "atrial tachycardia", which is why I suspect the Clinic stated you needed to be evaluated asap. As you probably know afib puts you at risk for blood clots and potential stroke. Thankfully, mine was not a fib just an irritable atrium that practically ruined my life for awhile.

Well, I hope this helps a little and best wishes!


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