TYPES OF AF

Whether AF responds to treatments to restore normal rhythm may depend on the type or pattern of AF.  The type of AF is characterised by the duration of the arrhythmia and individual episodes.

 

Paroxysmal AF refers to a pattern of intermittent episodes of AF, which start and stop spontaneously without treatment.  Episodes are short but may last hours or days.

 

Persistent AF refers to a pattern of continuous AF, which does not return to normal rhythm on its own.

 

Longstanding Persistent AF refers to a pattern of continuous AF, which has been present for 12 months or longer.

 

The presence of continuous (persistent types of) AF is known to lead to progressive damage and scarring of the top chambers of the heart, which may significantly reduce the efficacy of different treatments to restore normal rhythm. This is one of the factors which affects the 'success rate' of catheter ablation treatments.

 

Permanent AF refers to continuous AF that has either been accepted indefinitely or cannot be corrected by treatments.