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Cardiac rhythm disorders 

Cardiac rhythm disorders
Chapter:
Cardiac rhythm disorders
Author(s):

Kristina H. Haugaa

, Francesco Faletra

, and João L. Cavalcante

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198726012.003.0063
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date: 17 July 2019

Cardiac rhythm disorders require diagnostic, prognostic, and guidance of therapeutic procedures by echocardiography. The most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation (AF) leading to an increased risk for mortality, heart failure, and thromboembolic events. Echocardiography is performed to assess the aetiology of AF which most commonly is associated with diseases leading to enlarged atria. Furthermore, echocardiography is crucial to evaluate thromboembolic risk by assessing the morphology and function of the left atrial appendage among other parameters. Non-invasive imaging modalities including two-dimensional transthoracic (TTE) and transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) with three-dimensional imaging are often indicated. Finally, TOE can help in the preprocedural planning and providing guidance for interventions such as pulmonary vein ablation and percutaneous left atrial appendage closure. In patients with ventricular arrhythmias, TTE is the first-line diagnostic tool for assessing the aetiology of ventricular arrhythmias. Ischaemic heart disease, either acute or chronic fibrosis, is the most common causes of ventricular tachycardias. Left ventricular ejection fraction remains the most important parameter for indication of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator for primary prevention therapy, although newer strain echocardiographic measures may add incremental prognostic information.

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