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Electrocardiogram (ECG) showing atrial tachycardia

Electrocardiogram (ECG) showing atrial tachycardia

M172/0357

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Credit

BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Atrial tachycardia. Electrocardiogram (ECG) indicating atrial tachycardia, or fast, random beating of the heart's upper chambers. The irregular pattern of the ECG is caused by disturbances in the electrical impulses that control the beating of the heart. This means that atrial beating is not synchronised with that of the heart's lower chambers, the ventricles, resulting in inefficient blood flow. Symptoms include breathlessness, palpitations and lightheadedness. Atrial tachycardia is a type of cardiac arrhythmia. Electrocardiography records the electrical activity of the heart by placing electrodes on the skin of the chest and limbs.

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