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What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat in a very rapid and irregular manner causing the lower chambers (ventricles) to also beat quickly and irregularly. It can be related to high blood pressure, previous heart attacks, heart valve disease or other heart disease, but in many patients no obvious cause can be found.
Atrial fibrillation can be started by extra beats that come from the "pulmonary veins" which drain blood from the lungs into the left atrium. Ablation procedures for AF entail "burns" in the regions around these veins in an attempt to 'fence off' the triggering beats to prevent the atrial fibrillation.