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Atrial Fibrillation in Pregnancy

DiCarlo-Meacham, LT Angela MC, USN; Dahlke, LCDR Joshua MC, USN

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31820561ef
Case Reports

BACKGROUND: Physiologic changes of pregnancy can predispose women to cardiac arrhythmias. Atrial fibrillation is rare in pregnancy and usually occurs in women with underlying cardiac anomalies.

CASE: A young woman at 22 weeks of gestation presented with new-onset atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. Thorough evaluation revealed atrial fibrillation with no underlying cause and ultimately required treatment with electrical cardioversion.

CONCLUSION: Lone atrial fibrillation in pregnancy requires exclusion of all possible etiologies before diagnosis. Cardioversion is the treatment of choice. Women with persistent atrial fibrillation require anticoagulation and rate control, as well as fetal growth surveillance and antenatal testing.

Lone atrial fibrillation in pregnancy is rare and requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to ensure maternal and fetal well-being for the duration of the pregnancy.

From the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia.

Corresponding author: Angela DiCarlo-Meacham, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23708; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2011 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists