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June 19, 1915


Author Affiliations

First Assistant Physician Out-Patient Department New York Hospital NEW YORK

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(25):2057-2060. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570510033012

I shall endeavor to emphasize a fact in relation to patients with auricular fibrillation which seems to me to have attracted much less attention than is due to its importance; that is, that the presence of the irregularity does not greatly increase the gravity of the prognosis.

We have a fair idea of the amount of restricted activity imposed by the different lesions of the cardiac valves, but we are only lately coming to realize that an irregular heart does not of necessity seriously cripple the individual. Sinus arrhythmia we know may be disregarded, and usually looked on as normal; extrasystoles do not seem to lead to hypertrophy or cardiac failure even when present constantly over long periods of time; but the continuous irregularity of auricular fibrillation has been considered a grave abnormality of function. My endeavor will be to point out how this impression arose, and how it should

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