Pediatrics and CHD
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This website is in partnership with the Pediatric & Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES).
Take this information with you to a physician that specializes in heart rhythm disorders by using our international specialist directory.
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm. In a normal heart, the four chambers of the heart beat in a steady, rhythmic pattern. With AFib, the atria (upper chambers of the heart) fibrillate (quiver or twitch quickly) and create an irregular rhythm.
While genetic testing is valuable in both diagnosis and prognosis, it has limitations as well. Sometimes, a genetic change may be found that has not been shown to be disease-causing, but also has not been found to be harmless. In addition, a genetic defect may be present but it is not able to be detected with current testing. Genetic testing is expensive, especially during the initial evaluation, because many genes may need to be tested. These costs may or may not be covered by a patient’s medical insurance. Finally, testing may take weeks to months to complete, and this waiting period can be very stressful for patients and their families.
The decision about whether or not to do genetic testing is best made after thoughtful discussion with your healthcare team.