Heart Rhythm Disorders –A Major Heart Problem


Author(s): 
Dr Rajat Sharma, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Fortis Hospital, Mohali addressing the media persons at Patiala on Wednesday.
Patiala, December 23, 2015: Heart rhythm disorder has assumed epidemic proportions globally becoming second largest killer disease, only after all the cancers-related deaths put together. Millions of people around the world remain undiagnosed or untreated and suffer primarily due to lack of awareness about these forms of heart rhythm disorders, said Dr Rajat Sharma, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Fortis Hospital, Mohali. 
 
Dr Rajat was addressing media persons after delivering a lecture on Heart Rhythm Diseases and Current CIED technologies. He said there is a lot of ambiguity and confusion around these heart rhythm disorders and the common heart attacks. 
 
HOW TO IDENTIFY IT?
Explaining symptoms of heart rhythm disorder, Dr Sharma stated that these may be palpitation, fluttering sensation or extreme racing of the heart. At times it may be benign, but often it can be life threatening. “There may be occasional skipped beats, palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, blackouts, fainting or near fainting, chaotic, quivering or irregular rhythm,” he explained. 
Pointing out the dangerous implications of a fast or slow heartbeat, Dr. Sharma said, “Each heart has its own normal rhythm brought about by the seamless flow of electrical impulses that begins in the heart’s natural pacemaker. An abnormally fast heart rhythm, or tachycardia, can result from very fast electrical activities or short-circuiting in the electrical circuit of the heart,” he said.
While elaborating upon the difference between common heart attacks and heart rhythm diseases, the Heart Rhythm Specialist said, “A conventional heart attack results from the clogging of the arteries in the heart, and are managed by opening the clogged arteries by angiography and stenting by an interventional cardiologist. But heart rhythm diseases result from abnormalities or short-circuiting in the electrical system of the heart”. 
 
WHOM TO CONSULT?
He said that it was of paramount importance to consult cardiac rhythm specialists or the cardiac electrophysiologistsfor an assessment of these heart rhythm disorders. By different electrophysiological tests one can ascertain the exact nature of the heart rhythm abnormality and its possible implications.
Dr Sharma added that cardiac electrophysiology is the most complex and advanced branch of cardiology, which deals with these electrical abnormalities of the heart and highly trained specialists (Cardiac Rhythm Specialists or Cardiac Electrophysiologists) specialize in managing these electrical ailments of the heart. 
During the concluding remark he stressed the need for an enhanced awareness about these heart rhythm disorders and seek appropriate treatment to curtail the long-term morbidity and reduced mortality associated with these heart ailments.
He said that the global impact of very common heart rhythm disorders like Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and sudden cardiac death (SCD), which is responsible for significant morbidity/mortality and healthcare expenditures worldwide. AF is the most common cause of stroke and heart failure today and can be treated if diagnosed and treated appropriately. Similarly, SCD and its prevention can save many human lives.
 
ADVANCEMENTS IN TREATMENT FIELD:
During the deliberation, Dr Sharma discussed the various developments in the field of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices or CIEDs in the management of various heart rhythm disorders. He highlighted the various newer pacemaker technologies, like the subcutaneous ICDs, leadless pacemakers, advanced algorithms for optimal pacemaker, defibrillator and heart failure device functions. He also stressed upon Remote Cardiac Pacemaker Telemetry, extended cardiac monitoring and the advancement in the pacemaker battery and software technologies. These technological advancements have resulted in lesser pacemaker replacements, reduced pacemaker related complications and need for frequent hospital visits.
 
 
Date: 
Wednesday, December 23, 2015