Arrhythmias occur when there is a disruption in how the electrical signal develops or moves throughout the heart. Factors that can cause arrhythmias include:
- The heart's natural pacemaker (sinoatrial node) develops an abnormal rate or rhythm.
- Injury or illness makes it difficult or impossible for electrical signals to move through the heart. Injury or illness may occur due to:
- Electrical stimulation arises from abnormal areas of the heart, other than the sinoatrial node.
- Stimulants—Make the heart beat faster even though there is no need.
- Electrolyte abnormalities—Can increase or decrease the ability for muscles to contract and change ability of nerves to send signals.
External factors that are associated with arrhythmias include:
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 06/2017 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -