Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia refers to a change from the normal sequence of electrical impulses that causes abnormal heart rhythms. These may be completely harmless or life-threatening. Some are brief and cause only a temporary pause or premature beat; however, they can also last longer which may cause the heart rate to be too slow or too fast. If the rhythm is erratic, the heart pumps less effectively. A heart rate of 100 beats per minute is considered fast (tachycardia); whereas, a rate of less than 60 beats per minute is considered slow (bradycardia).

Arrhythmia may occur when the heart’s natural pacemaker develops an abnormal rate or rhythm, the normal conduction pathway is interrupted, or another part of the hear takes over as pacemaker. In some conditions almost all heart tissue can start an impulse of the type that can generate a heartbeat, because cells in the heart's conduction system can fire automatically and start electrical activity. This activity can interrupt the normal order of the heart's pumping activity. Secondary pacemakers elsewhere in the heart provide a "back-up" rhythm when the sinus node doesn't work properly or when impulses are blocked somewhere in the conduction system.

What are the symptoms of arrhythmia?

Symptoms of arrhythmia, Atrial or SVT can include:

  • dizziness
  • light headedness
  • rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • chest pain (angina), and/or shortness of breath
  • in extreme cases, may cause unconsciousness or cardiac arrest

What if I am diagnosed with arrhythmia?

Some arrhythmias may be considered harmless and can be left untreated. However, if your physician diagnoses you with an arrhythmia, further testing may be necessary. A determination needs to be made on whether the arrhythmia, irregular heartbeat, is abnormal or merely reflects the heart's normal processes. If considered clinically significant or puts you at risk for more serious arrhythmias or complications of arrhythmias in the future then a treatment plan may be required in order to prevent blood clots from forming to reduce stroke risk. Treatment may be used to control your heart rate within a relatively normal range, restore a normal heart rhythm (if possible), treat the underlying heart disease/condition that may be causing arrhythmia, and reduce other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Additional treatment for arrhythmia include: medication, defibrillation, ablation, and pacemaker insertion.

Arrhythmia Treatment Center

One of the top centers in the United States, the Arrhythmia Treatment Center in Memphis, Tennessee includes use of the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD). The center is led by Dr. James Porterfield, named one of the Best Doctors in America for Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Porterfield was also awarded the designation of Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society. This is the highest category of membership and is based on research, published articles and contributions to the field of cardiology.

Methodist University Hospital’s Cardiovascular Institute is dedicated to the research and clinical care of Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats). Through the collaborative efforts with the leading Cardiologists and Electrophysiologists in Memphis, we provide state-of-the-art clinical and investigational therapy for patients with complex atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. Procedures incorporate the latest technologies including radiofrequency, laser catheter ablation, and other heart arrhythmia treatments.

To find a cardiologist or electrophysiologist in Memphis, Tennessee, please use our physician locator.

Cardiology Locations

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1938 Crescent Meadow
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1938 Crescent Meadow

1938 Crescent Meadow Drive
Holly Springs, MS 38635

901-435-8550

Sutherland Cardiology Clinic
Sutherland Cardiology Clinic

7460 Wolf River Blvd.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-763-0200

Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Germantown
Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Germantown

7655 Poplar Ave., Suite 350
Germantown, TN 38138

901-761-2470

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 4250 Bethel
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 4250 Bethel

4250 Bethel Road, 5th Floor
Olive Branch, MS 38654

901-435-8550

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 3950 New Covington Pike
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 3950 New Covington Pike

3950 New Covington Pike, Suite 220
Memphis, TN 38128

901-435-8550

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 57 Germantown
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 57 Germantown

57 Germantown Court, Suite 100
Memphis, TN 38108

901-435-8550

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1211 Union
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1211 Union

1211 Union Avenue, Suite 965
Memphis, TN 38104

901-435-8550

Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery North
Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery North

3950 New Covington Pike, Suite 290
Memphis, TN 38128

901-383-8232

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1251 Wesley
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1251 Wesley

1251 Wesley Drive, Suite 153
Memphis, TN 38116

901-435-8550

Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Midtown
Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Midtown

1325 Eastmoreland Ave., Suite 365
Memphis, TN 38104

901-272-6030

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 900 N. 7th
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 900 N. 7th

900 N. 7th Street
West Memphis, AR 72301

901-435-8550

Methodist North Hospital
Methodist North Hospital

3960 New Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128

901-516-5200

Methodist University Hospital
Methodist University Hospital

1265 Union Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104

901-516-7000

Methodist Olive Branch Hospital
Methodist Olive Branch Hospital

4250 Bethel Rd.
Olive Branch, MS 38654

662-932-9000

Methodist South Hospital
Methodist South Hospital

1300 Wesley Dr.
Memphis, TN 38116

901-516-3700

Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital
Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital

7691 Poplar Ave.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-516-6000