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These cookies collect information about how visitors use our website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how our website works.

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Atrial fibrillation (AF)

A common rhythm abnormality, increasing with age, that raises the risk of stroke


Atrial fibrillation is the commonmost sustained arrhythmia (an abnormal and irregular heart rhythm). It happens when the atria (the heart’s upper chambers) produces out-of-control electrical signals. We provide comprehensive care for all types of arrhythmia, from testing and monitoring to interventional procedures like ablation therapy.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of atrial fibrillation icon plus

    Symptoms of AF can vary. They may include:

    • palpitations
    • tiredness
    • chest pain
    • breathlessness
    • fatigue
    • dizziness
    • blackouts or fainting (syncope)

    It can be caused by underlying conditions like heart disease and thyroid conditions. Other factors, such as inflammation and alcohol, can also contribute to AF.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you. If they suspect you have atrial fibrillation, they may carry out an electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG records electrical activity in your heart. You will also wear a Holter monitor for up to several days, which is the main way of detecting arrhythmias. They may also ask you to carry out other tests to rule out underlying causes, such as thyroid problems and structural heart disease.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    We offer some of the most advanced cardiac care facilities and a dedicated group of consultant cardiologists, cardiac physiologists and clinical nurse specialists. If your consultant thinks you have AF, they'll discuss your treatment options with you. These might include:

    • drugs to control heart rhythm
    • drugs to reduce your risk of stroke
    • drugs to control you heart rate
    • electrical cardioversion
    • catheter ablation
    • having a pacemaker implanted
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion. 

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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