What role do vital signs play during the initial exam of atrial fibrillation (Afib) (AF)?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

Heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation are particularly important in evaluating hemodynamic stability and adequacy of rate control in AF.

Patients will have an irregularly irregular pulse and will commonly be tachycardic, with heart rates typically in the 110- to 140-range, but rarely over 160-170. Patients who are hypothermic or who have cardiac drug toxicity may present with bradycardic atrial fibrillation.


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