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Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2012 Feb;65(2):174-85. doi: 10.1016/j.recesp.2011.09.018. Epub 2011 Dec 21.

Mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias.

[Article in English, Spanish]

Author information

Electrophysiology Program, Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pensilvania 19104, United States.


Cardiac arrhythmias are prevalent among humans across all age ranges and may occur in the setting of underlying heart disease as well as in structurally normal hearts. While arrhythmias are widely varied in their clinical presentations, they possess shared electrophysiologic properties at the cellular level. The 3 main mechanisms responsible for cardiac arrhythmias are automaticity, triggered activity, and reentry. Although identifying the specific mechanism may at times be challenging for the clinician and require invasive electrophysiologic study, differentiating and understanding the underlying mechanism may be critical to the development of an appropriate diagnosis and treatment strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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