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Heart & Vascular Institute

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Conditions We Treat: Cardiac Arrhythmias

An arrhythmia is a disturbance in the regular rhythm of your heartbeat. The rhythm may be too fast, too slow or irregular. It is caused by a problem with the electrical signals that tell your heart muscle when to contract.

Arrhythmias: What You Need to Know

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  • A precise diagnosis is necessary to pinpoint both the type and location of the electrical disturbance.
  • Some diagnostic tests are performed in an electrophysiology lab. Others consist of monitors you wear during your daily routine to detect less-frequent irregularities.
  • Your doctor’s goal is to correct the rhythm so your heart beats more efficiently.
  • Treatments include ablation, which destroys the group of heart cells producing “unauthorized” electrical signals; insertion of a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator, which correct the heart's rhythm using electricity; and medications.

The following conditions are common arrhythmias:

Long QT Syndrome
Supraventricular tachycardias:
 - Atrial fibrillation
 - Atrial flutter
 - Atrial tachycardia
 - Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
Ventricular fibrillation
Ventricular tachycardia

Patient Resources

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of arrhythmias?

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Our Physicians

Cardiac electrophysiologists, who specialize in electrical problems of the heart, are just part of the expert team that treats arrhythmias at Johns Hopkins.

Meet our physicians:


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Our Specialty Centers

Johns Hopkins centers of excellence are at the forefront of research and patient care. The Johns Hopkins Arrhythmia Service is a leader in treating arrhythmias, perfecting new devices and minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Center for Inherited Heart Diseases


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Our Research

Our doctors seek to push the boundaries of known medicine, finding new ways to help people live with arrhythmias.

Learn how a Johns Hopkins study helped people with cardiac implants receive MRI scans.