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Question:

How long does the left atrium take to recover after an ICD discharge?

I have a biventricular ICD and would like to know how long the left atrial appendage will remain stunned and not beating after a shock of 37 joules? Thank you very much for your time.  

submitted by Tom from Erial, New Jersey on 1/16/2013

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Mohammad Saeed, MD    

Mohammad Saeed, MDIt is not the electrical shock which causes stunning of left atrium including the appendage, but the atrial fibrillation itself. Once the rhythm is restored back to normal, it can take a few days to weeks for mechanical function to recover. If the atrium has been in atrial fibrillation for more than 48 hours, the standard of care is to treat with blood thinners for four weeks. Presumably the atrium and the appendage will recover mechanical function by that time.r.     

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Updated January 2013
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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