Atrial flutter is a tachyarrthymia which is characterised by an organised re-entry circuit in the atrial, commonly the right atrium. This usually causes a fast heart rate. If atrial flutter persists, it may degenerate into atrial fibrillation.
While atrial flutter commonly occurs in patient with cardiovascular disease, it can also occur in patients without heart conditions.
Patients may feel palpitations, chest discomfort, exercise intolerance, shortness of breath, fainting spells or giddiness.
Diagnosis of atrial flutter can be made by electrocardiogram or via electrophysiology study of the heart. ECG typically shows flutter waves with rapid ventricular activity. As atrial flutter may occur intermittently, sometimes Holter monitoring or transtelephonic monitoring may be useful.
Similar to atrial fibrillation, the targets of treatment for atrial flutter aims to control heart rate or rhythm, and prevent stroke.