The heart beats are generated by the sino-atrial node, a small tissue region in the right atrium. The propagation of impulses to both upper chambers of the heart – i.e the two atria – causes them to contract and move the blood to the lower chambers of the heart, a.k.a the ventricles.
AF is caused by abnormal electrical impulses forming anywhere in the atria. AF may be recorded on an electrocardiogram (ECG). The beating heart of AF patients is fast and irregular.
Physicians classify AF according to the duration of arrhythmia episodes. Brief episodes correspond to paroxysmal AF. Longer episodes are known as persistent AF.
The treatment of AF may involve drug therapy, cardioversion, or a catheter ablation procedure.