Palpitations / AF

  • What are common causes of palpitations?

    Most commonly palpitations (or the sensation of feeling your heart beat) is caused by ectopic or extra beats. These are usually completely benign.

    Less commonly, there may be an abnormal heart rhythm as the cause. The most common of these is atrial fibrillation (AF). Other causes include supra-ventricular tachycardia (SVT) or ventricular tachycardia.

  • Investigations

    To determine the cause of symptoms, Professor Ruparelia will commonly suggest some investigations to determine the cause of symptoms. This usually includes blood tests, ECG, echocardiogram and rhythm monitoring

  • Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

    Atrial fibrillation or AF is the most common heart rhythm abnormality. It becomes more common with age and patients can be asymptomatic or be intruded by symptoms that may include palpitations, breathlessness, chest pain, lethargy and a reduction in exercise tolerance.

    Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, Professor Ruparelia will explain the diagnosis and also ongoing management.

    Treatment is aimed at either controlling the heart rate or aiming to restore sinus rhyhtm with medicaions, electrical cardioversion or transcatheter ablation.

    Whilst AF is not dangerous in some patients there is a higher risk of stroke and Prof Ruparelia may suggest anti-coagulation to reduce this risk.

  • Treatments

    Treatment of palpitations depend on the underlying cause and also how intrusive symptoms are. These include:

    • Conservative therapy
    • Medical treatment
    • Catheter ablation

    Professor Ruparelia will explain the pros and cons of each of the above and formulate a bespoke plan with you.



Professor Neil Ruparelia 2022