The heart rate is controlled by the electrical system of the heart. This system performs a sequence of events that contracts the heart muscle. The sinus node triggers the heartbeat, and causes contraction of the atria. The signal then travels to the atrioventricular node, the bundle of His, the bundle branches and the Purkinje fibers. This causes contraction of the ventricles. In atrial tachycardia, an area of electrical focus controls the heart rate instead of the sinus node, causing the heart to beat rapidly. In atrioventricular nodal reciprocating tachycardia or AVNRT, an electrical circuit is created between the two electrical paths in the atrioventricular node, causing the heart to beat rapidly. In atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia or AVRT, an electrical circuit involving the atria, atrioventricular node, ventricles, and an accessory electrical path, causes the heart to beat rapidly. Supraventricular tachycardias are very often responsible for early and late palpitations, and are sometimes associated with fatigue and chest pain. ECGs can easily diagnose a supraventricular tachycardia, but cannot distinguish which kind of tachycardia it is. As a first treatment option, antiarrhythmic medications can prevent or stop palpitation episodes. If antiarrhythmics are ineffective or poorly tolerated, a curative radiofrequency treatment may be considered. The procedure typically lasts about 1 hour, uses local anesthesia and mild sedation, and often requires an outpatient hospital stay. A small puncture in the vein of the groin allows the catheter to access the heart.
For more information on Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter, please see our other videos.
This animation will focus on Atrial Tachycardia, AVNRT, and AVRT.
@Thrombo75: Clinical pharmacist specialized in line cardiology with an Egyptian pharmaceutical company, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD.) Cairo university.