Difference Between AFib and VFib

By: | Updated: Feb-19, 2022
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Heartbeat disorders consist of three types of arrhythmias: atrial fibrillation (AFib), ventricular fibrillation (VFib), and tachycardia.

In this article, we are going to talk about the differences between AFib and VFib. Read on to find out the differences!

AFib VFib
Most common type of heartbeat disorder. Most serious type of heartbeat disorder.
Occurs when the electrical signals in the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) become disorganized. Occurs when the electrical signals in the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart) become disorganized.
Usually can be treated with medication. Often requires electrical cardioversion or surgery.
Less dangerous. More dangerous compared to AFib.
Lower risk of cardiac arrest and death compared to VFib. Higher risk for sudden cardiac arrest and death.

Difference Between AFib and VFib

AFib is the most common type of heartbeat disorder, affecting more than 2 million Americans. VFib is the most serious type of heartbeat disorder and is responsible for more than 250,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of arrhythmia that occurs when the electrical signals in the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) become disorganized. This can cause the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly (arrhythmia).

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Symptoms of AFib can include:

  • Pulse that is too fast, too slow, or irregular
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion

In some cases, there may be no symptoms.

AFib can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart-related complications.

Ventricular fibrillation (VFib) is a type of arrhythmia that occurs when the electrical signals in the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart) become disorganized. This can cause the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly (arrhythmia).

Symptoms of VFib can include:

  • Pulse that is too fast, too slow, or irregular
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion

In some cases, there may be no symptoms.

VFib can also increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart-related complications.

Treatments for VFib and AFib are similar and may include medications, electrical cardioversion, or surgery.

Electrical cardioversion is a procedure in which a shock is delivered to the heart in order to restore a normal heart rhythm. Normal heart rhythm means that the heart contracts and relaxes in a coordinated manner.

Both AFib and VFib is dangerous and can lead to heart attack and strokes. The main difference between AFib and VFib is that AFib is less dangerous and can usually be treated with medication, while VFib is more dangerous and often requires electrical cardioversion or surgery to restore a normal heart rhythm.

Patients with VFib are at a much higher risk for sudden cardiac arrest and death than patients with AFib.

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