In the treatment of heart disease the interest centers chiefly on the symptoms of broken compensation, and to a lesser extent on sensations referable to the heart. Changes in cardiac rate or rhythm may influence either of these. A feeling of palpitation sometimes accompanies tachycardias and marked irregularities; and sensations of heart-jumps or heart-stops are common to those who have extrasystoles. Even though the trouble seems to be nervous, and the general circulation is well maintained, nevertheless, so long as the rate or rhythm of the heart is disturbed a condition is present which fixes the attention of an apprehensive patient and interferes with his recovery.
EFFECTS OF DISTURBED RHYTHM ON THE BLOOD-FLOW
Variations in the cardiac rhythm may, moreover, actually impede the circulation. There is an optimum range for the heart-rate which permits this organ to act at the best advantage, and rates which are much above and much
HEWLETT AW. THE RELATION OF CARDIAC IRREGULARITIES TO TREATMENT. JAMA. 1911;LVII(19):1512–1514. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260110012005
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