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Types of Atrial Fibrillation

Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

In paroxysmal (par-ok-SIZ-mal) atrial fibrillation (AF), the faulty electrical signals and rapid heart rate begin suddenly and then stop on their own. Symptoms can be mild or severe. They stop within about a week, but usually in less than 
24 hours.

Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Persistent AF is a condition in which the abnormal heart rhythm continues for more than a week. It may stop on its own, or it can be stopped with treatment.

Permanent Atrial Fibrillation

Permanent AF is a condition in which a normal heart rhythm can't be restored with treatment. Both paroxysmal and persistent AF may become more frequent and, over time, result in permanent AF.

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Atrial Fibrillation Clinical Trials

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Atrial Fibrillation in the News

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September 18, 2014 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.