This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Arrhythmias and conduction disturbances

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Cardiac dysrhythmia is an abnormal heart beat:

  • rhythm may be irregular in its pacing or the heart rate may be low or high
    • some dysrhythmias are potentially life threatening while other dysrhythmias (such as sinus arrhythmia) are a normal variant

Heart rate and origin (atria or ventricles) are used to help classify cardiac dysrhythmias.

Tachycardia is a fast (over 100 beats per minute) heart rhythm

  • tachycardias can originate in the atria or ventricles.

Dysrhythmias that originate in the atria are termed supraventricular dysrhythmias (supraventricular means above the ventricles).

  • these dysrhythmias include:
    • atrial flutter
    • atrial fibrillation
    • paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
    • atrial tachycarda
    • sinus tachycardia

Ventricular dysrhythmias originate in the ventricles and include:

  • ventricular fibrillation
  • ventricular ectopics
  • ventricular tachycardia

Bradycardia is a slow (under 60 beats per minute) heart rhythm.

Bradyarrhythmias are slow heart rhythms arising from disease in the cardiac electrical conduction system.

Bradyarrhythmias include:

  • sinus bradycardia
  • atrioventricular conduction block
  • sick sinus syndrome

A premature beat is an extra beat, occurring earlier than normal - it is termed an ectopic beat and may be atrial or ventricular in origin

  • despite being an extra beat, patients may indicate feeling a "skipped beat"

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.