Multifocal atrial tachycardia (MAT) is a rapid heart rate that occurs when the atria in the heart get excited or irritated and begin to send multiple signals (electrical impulses) from the atria to the ventricles.
In MAT, a typical heart beat is anywhere from 100 to 250 beats per minute. At an increased rate, the heart has less time to fill up with blood (less filling time), so it may decrease cardiac output.
MAT is most common in people age 50 and over. Hypoxia tends to be one of the leading causes of this arrhythmia. Some disorders that may make a patient prone to MAT are pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), CHF, lung cancer/failure, and pulmonary emboli (PEs).
Other risk factors include coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, and sepsis.
Some symptoms of MAT are chest pain, lightheadedness, fainting, palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness.