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Diagnosing Heart Rhythm Disorders/Arrhythmia

Keep Your Heart Beating at the Rhythm of Life

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The Rocky Mountain Heart Rhythm Institute at Rose offers complete care to patients. Our specialists are involved with and committed to pioneering new minimally invasive approaches and procedures. We’re dedicated to providing thorough, compassionate and focused care ranging from arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment to patient education and support.

These efforts come together in our state-of-the-art electrophysiology lab where our cardiologists use innovative techniques for diagnosing and treating arrhythmias and other potentially serious disorders affecting the heart’s rhythm.

Learn about an EKG here>>

Who is at Risk for an Abnormal Heart Rhythm?

Know Your Heart, Know Your Risk

You know your heart, and you know when something doesn’t feel right. Knowing your risk for a potentially life-threatening heart disorder is the first step to prevention. Our team can identify the conditions that put you at a higher risk of developing a heart rhythm disorder, which may include lifestyle factors and/or other health conditions. Risk factors may include:

  • Coronary artery disease, other heart problems and previous heart surgery. Narrowed heart arteries, a heart attack, abnormal heart valves, prior heart surgery, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and other heart damage are risk factors for almost any kind of arrhythmia.
  • High blood pressure. This increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease. It may also cause the walls of your left ventricle to become stiff and thick, which can change how electrical impulses travel through your heart.
  • Congenital heart defect. Being born with a heart abnormality may affect your heart's rhythm.
  • Pericarditis and myocarditis. Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin sac-like membrane surrounding your heart. Myocarditis is inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall.
  • Cardiomyopathies. This is a disease of the heart muscle where the heart becomes enlarged, thick or rigid.
  • Leaking or stenotic heart valves. This would make the heart work too hard and can lead to heart failure
  • Thyroid problems. Having an overactive or underactive thyroid gland can raise your risk for arrhythmias.
  • Drugs and supplements. Certain over-the-counter cough and cold medicines and certain prescription drugs may contribute to arrhythmia development.
  • Diabetes. Your risk of developing coronary artery disease and high blood pressure greatly increases with uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea. This disorder, in which your breathing is interrupted during sleep, can increase your risk of bradycardia, atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.
  • Electrolyte imbalance. Substances in your blood called electrolytes — such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium — help trigger and conduct the electrical impulses in your heart. Electrolyte levels that are too high or too low can affect your heart's electrical impulses and contribute to arrhythmia development.
  • Drinking too much alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can affect the electrical impulses in your heart and can increase the chance of developing atrial fibrillation.
  • Caffeine or nicotine use. Caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants can cause your heart to beat faster and may contribute to the development of more-serious arrhythmias. Illegal drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine, may profoundly affect the heart and lead to many types of arrhythmias or to sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation.

State-of-the-Art Diagnostics for Heart Rhythm Disorders

When your heartbeat is out of sync, the impact can affect the rhythm of your life. Our team of electrophysiologists uses the latest technologies to evaluate your heart from every angle and make the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Our testing may include:

  • Signal-averaged EKG testing
  • 24-hour Holter and event monitoring
  • Implantable loop EKG recording to improve accuracy of monitoring
  • Stress testing
  • 3D mapping
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
  • Tilt Table testing to detect neurocardiac syncope
  • Echocardiography

Once we know the cause of arrhythmia, our team creates an individualized plan to manage and treat the disorder. Learn more about Rocky Mountain Heart Institute at Rose’s advanced treatments for arrhythmia.