If atrial fibrillation stops within a short time it is called paroxysmal, but if atrial fibrillation is continuously present, or continues for prolonged periods, it is persistent. When the normal heart rhythm cannot be restored atrial fibrillation is termed permanent. These types of atrial fibrillation have a varied response to therapy and are therefore managed differently.
|Paroxysmal||Episodes of atrial fibrillation that last less than 7 days.|
|Persistent||An episode of atrial fibrillation lasting longer than 7 days.|
|Longstanding persistent||An episode of atrial fibrillation lasting longer than 1 year.|
|Permanent||When no attempt is made or it is not possible to restore the normal rhythm.|