Show Summary Details
Page of

Cardiac arrhythmias 

Cardiac arrhythmias
Cardiac arrhythmias

Matthew R. Ginks

, D.A. Lane

, A.D. McGavigan

, and Gregory Y.H. Lip

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 March 2021

The term cardiac arrhythmia (or dysrhythmia) is used to describe any abnormality of cardiac rhythm. The spectrum of cardiac arrhythmias ranges from innocent extrasystoles to immediately life-threatening conditions such as asystole or ventricular fibrillation.

The key to the successful diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias is the systematic analysis of an ECG of optimal quality obtained during the arrhythmia.

Continuous monitoring is necessary for identification when arrhythmias are intermittent. Ambulatory ECG recordings are of most value when they provide correlation between the patient’s symptoms and the cardiac rhythm at that moment. Alternative strategies for the detection of infrequent arrhythmias include the use of a patient-activated recorder, which is applied and activated during symptoms, or an external or implanted loop recorder.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.