Introduction to Atrial Fibrillation 

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

In atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart.  The upper chambers of your heart (atria) experience chaotic electrical signals. As a result, they quiver. The atrioventricular node — the electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles — is bombarded with impulses trying to get through to the ventricles. Atrial fibrillation symptoms often include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.

The result is a fast and irregular heart rhythm. The heart rate in atrial fibrillation may range from 100 to 175 beats a minute. The normal range for a heart rate is 60 to 100 beats a minute.

Episodes of atrial fibrillation can come and go, or you may develop atrial fibrillation that doesn't go away and may require treatment. Although atrial fibrillation itself usually isn't life-threatening, it is a serious medical condition that sometimes requires emergency treatment.

Atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clots forming in the heart that may circulate to other organs and lead to blocked blood flow (ischemia).

Rainbow Atrial Fibrillation Risk Assessment Test

Genome-wide association studies have successfully identified 4q25 near transcription factor PITX2. The PITX2 locus encodes a transcription factor necessary for pulmonary myocardial sleeves development, and for the formation of a sinus node in the left atrium. In numerous follow-up studies with over 10,000 patients and 30,000 controls, the 4q25 risk association has been confirmed in Caucasian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean populations. 

In this test, two SNPs located adjacent to the PITX2 gene were both tested for the presence of the at-risk allele.  Carriers of this allele at either locations are at a higher risk of AF compared to that of the general population.