JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Atrial fibrillation. Artwork of a section through a human heart during atrial fibrillation, a rapid, irregular heartbeat. Two electrocardiogram traces (ECGs) are seen at centre left and upper right. The ECGs show the irregularity of the heart rhythm (arrhythmia). The electrical impulses that coordinate heart contractions start at the sinoatrial node (blue, upper left) and run down to the atrioventricular node (blue, centre left). When the atria (upper heart chambers, pink) contract irregularly & too rapidly, the ventricles (lower heart chambers, orange) have trouble keeping pace. ECGs are used to diagnose heart conditions such as arrhythmia.
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