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Tachycardia, paroxysmal atrial (PAT)

Tachycardia, paroxysmal atrial (PAT): Bouts of rapid, regular heart beating originating in the atrium (upper chamber of the heart). Often due to abnormalities in the AV node "relay station" that lead to rapid firing of electrical impulses from the atrium which bypass the AV node under certain conditions. These conditions include alcohol excess, stress, caffeine, overactive thyroid or excessive thyroid hormone intake, and certain drugs. PAT is an example of an arrhythmia where the abnormality is in the electrical system of the heart, while the heart muscle and valves may be normal.


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