HomeAbout Dr. WellsContact

Types of arrhythmia

The heart’s electrical system may sometimes not work as it should and cause abnormal heart rhythms, which are known as arrhythmias. When the heart is in arrhythmia, it may beat too quickly, too slowly, or in an irregular way.

Electrical conduction in the heart originates in the SA node and travels through the AV node to the ventricles, resulting in a heart beat


An abnormally fast heart rhythm is called tachycardia. Common symptoms associated with tachycardia are palpitations, awareness in the chest area of abnormal beating, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and even fainting spells. Sometimes tachycardias are so mild that they’re not even noticed; but some tachycardias may be life-threatening.

Most cases of tachycardia are due to an abnormal electrical pathway that people are born with. When an early beat gets into the pathway, it may start traveling in an endless loop, causing the heart to race like a dog chasing its tail.

Types of heart-racing that are most common among the general population include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and supraventricular tachycardia, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and ventricular tachycardia.