Sanjiv M. Narayan has served as a professor of medicine at Stanford University since 2014. Sanjiv M. Narayan has published extensively on topics related to atrial fibrillation, an ongoing heart irregularity, with over two hundred articles and book chapters. His laboratory works to define mechanistic networks that can cause this condition, and his recent research focuses on ablation treatment focused at small ‘driver’ or ‘rotor’ regions that sustain the disorganization of atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is a form of irregular and rapid heart rate in which the heart’s upper chambers stop synchronizing with the lower chambers. Beats can be chaotic and irregular, and often manifest as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and generalized weakness. Individuals with atrial fibrillation may deal with the condition constantly, or have occasional episodes. While not life-threatening, it can require emergency treatment in certain circumstances.
Atrial fibrillation can also cause further complications. The irregularities in the heartbeat can lead to the formation of blood clots inside the heart, which can migrate around the body and block blood flow. This can cause a stroke if the blood clot lodges in the brain. Heart failure can occur if the irregularities weaken or exhaust the heart, causing the heart to circulate insufficient blood to serve the body.