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Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia

Multifocal atrial tachycardia is a rapid heart rate that occurs when too many signals (electrical impulses) are sent from the upper heart to the lower heart. The term multifocal atrial tachycardia is used when atrial impulses show at least three different P wave morphologies and a ventricular rate of 100 or greater. Multifocal atrial tachycardia is often a precursor of atrial fibrillation, and on physical examination may actually be confused with atrial fibrillation, since an irregularly irregular ventricular response is noted On the other hand, patients with similar atrial abnormalities but a slow ventricular rate (called multifocal atrial bradycardia) may require a pacemaker for indications similar to those with sinus bradycardia.

Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia is a rhythm characterized by varying P-wave morphology (by definition, three or more foci) and markedly irregular PP intervals. The rate is usually between 100 and 140 beats/min, and atrioventricular block is unusual. In multifocal atrial tachycardia (M.A.T.), multiple locations within the atria "fire" and initiate an electrical impulse. Most of these impulses are conducted to the ventricles, leading to a rapid heart rate, anywhere from 100 to 250 beats per minute. This very rapid rate greatly increases the heart's workload. Multifocal atrial tachycardia is typically seen in elderly patients with severe illnesses, most commonly COPD. The mechanism of the arrhythmia may be delayed afterdepolarizations leading to triggered activity, but this has not been firmly established.

Multifocal atrial tachycardia is often a precursor of atrial fibrillation, and on physical examination may actually be confused with atrial fibrillation, since an irregularly irregular ventricular response is noted. This very rapid rate greatly increases the heart's workload The treatment of this disorder is correction of the severe hypoxia when possible. This very rapid rate greatly increases the heart's workload.

Cause of Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia

Here are the list of the possible Cause of Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia:

  • The human heart gives off electrical impulses, or signals, which tell it to beat. Normally,
  • The rapid heart rate causes the heart to work too hard. If the heart beat is very fast, the heart has less time to fill up with blood, so it doesn't have the right amount of blood to pump to the brain and the rest of the body.
  • The electrical impulses are conducted throughout the heart, and the heart responds to each impulse with a contraction.
  • The interests of a person or group engaged in a struggle: “The cause of America is in great measure the cause of all mankind” (Thomas Paine).
  • The rapid heart rate causes the heart to work too hard
  • The node controls the heart's rhythm, which is essential to sustaining life.
  • Hyperkalemia or Hypokalemia
  • Tamponade ( Cardiac Tamponade

Symptoms of Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia

Here is the list of some of the common sign and symptoms of Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia:

  • Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
  • Light-headedness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Infants may have weight loss and failure to thrive

Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:

  • Dizziness
  • Breathing difficulty when lying down

Treatment of Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia

Most patients have severe associated COPD. Treatment of the underlying condition is the most effective approach; verapamil, 240–480 mg daily in divided doses, is also of value in some patients. The initial treatment of multifocal atrial tachycardia should include supportive measures and aggressive reversal of precipitating causes. Since multifocal atrial tachycardia is commonly a secondary phenomenon, the role for antiarrhythmic therapy is unclear. Heart rate controlling medications, such as calcium channel blockers (verapamil, diltiazem) or selective beta-blockers, may be needed. Some useful treatment methods of Mycardiaultifocal Atrial Tachycardia:

  • Any underlying conditions that can precipitate MAT should be treated first. Improving oxygenation, administering intravenous magnesium, and discontinuing certain medications -- such as theophylline -- may be enough to terminate the MAT.
  • We used metoprolol orally or iv in 25 patients with multifocal atrial tachycardia that was complicating severe cardiopulmonary illness, and we observed its effect on heart rate and rhythm, BP, and arterial blood gases.
  • The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
  • Corrections of these disturbances should take precedence in the treatment of MAT.
  • list categories of medications useful in treatment and demonstrate familiarity with dosage regimens of appropriate medications;
  • Corrections of these disturbances should take precedence in the treatment of MAT.

 


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