Dysrhythmia (Arrhythmia) or Abnormal Heart Pattern

Definition

A dysrhythmia is an abnormal beating of the heart.

Causes

Dysrhythmias are often due to electrical conduction problems within the heart.

Treatment

The heart must be tested with electrocardiography (ECG) to determine the type of abnormality. Some dysrhythmias do not require treatment. Others can be treated with medication. In more serious cases, a pacemaker may be needed.

Comments

In the most severe situations, such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, a person can die if the abnormal heart pattern is left untreated.

Related Links

National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine presents information and pictures about dysrhythmias.