Arrhythmia, Dysrhythmia: What’s The Difference?

Which of the following is the correct spelling?

  1. arhythmia
  2. arrhythmia
  3. arhythmia
  4. arrythmia

You are correct if you chose #2.
arrhythmia-dysrythmia
Arrhythmia is used most often to describe cardiac rhythm irregularity.

Arrhythmia 

  • commonly used in describing the irregularity of the rhythm or rate of the normal heart beat as in cardiac arrhythmia
  • spelled with two Rs and is derived from arrhuthmia, the Greek noun for lack of rhythm
  • rhythm is tucked in the middle of arrhythmia, which explains the two Hs
  • believed to be first used in 1888 to describe irregularity of the pulse

Which of the following is the correct spelling?

  1. dysrrythmia
  2. dysrythmia
  3. dyrrhythmia
  4. dysrhythmia
You are correct if you chose #4.
arrhythmia-dysrythmia
Dysrhythmia is most often used to describe brain disturbances

Dysrhythmia

  • used to describe rhythm disturbances of the brain such as cerebral dysrhythmia
  • also used to describe the irregularity of the rhythm or rate of the normal heart beat
  • spelled with one R, and is derived from rhythmus, Latin for rhythm
  • rhythm is tucked in the middle of dysrhythmia which explains the two Hs
  • first known use was circa 1909

To Sum-up the Difference

  • Both terms are used to describe irregularity of the heart rhythm although arrhythmia is most commonly used.
  • Dysrhythmia is also used to describe disturbances of the brain.
  •  Arrhythmia is spelled with two Rs, dysrhythmia is spelled with one R, the difference perhaps is explained by their origins:
    • arrhythmia is derived from arrhuthmia, a Greek noun.
    • dysrhythmia is derived from rhythmus, Latin noun.
  • Both terms have two Hs as in the word rhythm

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