Q: Good Morning Dr. Gasparini, could you tell me what the difference is between infarct symptoms and atrial fibrillation symptoms? Thank you in advance.


A: Infarct symptoms are related to the occlusion of a coronary artery and in most cases; they include prolonged chest pain, which can also extend over to the shoulders, arms, back, jaw and teeth. Sometimes, sweating, fatigue, fainting, nausea and vomiting may also occur. Other times, the pain the epigastric region is confused with a stomach ache.

On the other hand, atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm problem that in most cases causes palpitations (pounding heart) arrhythmia, and is sometimes accompanied by shortness of breath, or more rarely, fainting. Sometimes palpitations may occur spontaneously within a few hours and it may be necessary to go to the emergency room. Administration of anti-arrhythmic drugs or electrical cardioversion can stop the arrhythmias.