Heart failure due to atrial fibrillation

Here’s the sequence of events that lead to heart failure and symptoms in a patient with atrial fibrillation. Symptoms occur specially when oxygen demands increase and heart needs to go faster, as more blood is needed. The extra kick of blood given by the atria is gone, so end diastolic volume decreases. This causes ejection fraction to decrease, also decreasing tissue perfusion and causing, by definition heart failure.

Afib_N_Hf 2
Sinus rythm. Its allll fine. Click to enlarge and download. 
Afib_N_Hf
Atrial fibrillation and less end diastolic volume. Click to enlarge and download.

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-The Plague Doctor

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