Atrial Fibrillation On Echocardiogram (VIDEO)
Have you recently been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or afib? Were you referred for an echo? Ever wonder what your heart looks like while it’s in atrial fibrillation?
Or maybe you’re a new cardiac sonographer curious about what it is that we do in the world of echocardiography. And you’re curious what atrial fibrillation on an echocardiogram looks like or if an echocardiogram can detect afib.
Well that’s exactly what the purpose of this post if for. I have a great video that I put together of what an afib echocardiogram looks like!
But first, what is atrial fibrillation?
What Is Atrial Fibrillation
Simply put, afib is when there is a problem with the speed and pattern of your heart beat. Afib can come and go in episodes. These episodes are periods when your heart beats in a fast and irregular rhythm. Episodes of atrial fibrillation can cause symptoms, while other people may not experience symptoms at all.
For a more indepth look at what atrial fibrillation is, and what you can expect from this arrhythmia, check out my article, All About Atrial Fibrillation: The Ultimate Guide To Afib.
Can An Echocardiogram Detect Afib
To diagnose afib an electrocardiogram, or EKG, needs to be performed. An echocardiogram can help the doctor learn about many different things about your heart, but it is not used to diagnose afib.
For more information about the difference between and electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram, read my article, Electrocardiogram vs Echocardiogram: What Is The Difference.
Atrial Fibrillation On Echocardiogram (Sample VIDEO)
Below is an example of an afib echocardiogram. Some of the things you’ll notice is the erratic behavior of the heart structures. This is a result of the erratic rhythm that is atrial fibrillation.
In this afib video, you should be able to appreciate how the heart is less efficient at perfusing blood to the body. This is a result of the timing between the atria and the ventricle being off. In atrial fibrillation, the atria are “fibrillating” at random times, and therefore not filling the ventricles completely as they normally would.