Types of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

  • Paroxysmal AF – AFib that occurs sometimes and then stops. AFib stops by itself and the heart returns to normal rhythm. AFib may last for seconds, minutes, hours, or days before the heart returns to its normal rhythm. People with this type of AFib usually have more symptoms than others. As the heart goes in and out of AFib, the pulse rate may change from slow to fast and back again in short periods of time.
  • Persistent AF – AFib that does not stop by itself. Medications or a special type of electrical shock (called cardioversion) is used to help the heart return to normal rhythm. If no treatment is given, the heart will stay out of rhythm.
  • Long standing persistent  AF (formerly known as Permanent AF) – AFib that cannot be corrected. Medications and controlled electrical shock cannot help return the heart to normal rhythm.