Focal atrial tachycardia, also sometimes called ectopic atrial tachycardia, is a form of rapid heart rhythm disorder that comes from a specific (focal) place in the atria (atrial), that is not the typical area for impulse origin and, therefore, “ectopic”.
Focal atrial tachycardia – here from the left atrium
- Abnormal focus
Patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation also often suffer from episodes of focal atrial tachycardia. In fact, it is often focal atrial tachycardia that marks the onset of atrial fibrillation. It is also possible for focal atrial tachycardia to occur independently of atrial fibrillation. It is a common heart rhythm disorder for patients with lung disease, such as COPD.
Is Focal Atrial Tachycardia dangerous?
The condition is not in itself “dangerous”. However, it can be annoying, and it can cause atrial fibrillation.
How is it treated?
If you are bothered by the arrhythmia, you will often be given medical treatment in the form of beta blockers. If medication does not solving the problem, catheter based ablation therapy may be relevant.