Atrial flutter

Atrial Flutter is a type of heart rhythm that starts in the atria. It is usually fast and happens when electrical impulses circulate very rapidly around the atria. The atria often beat in a regular rhythm at a rate of 300 beats a minute. The ventricles can’t pump this fast successfully, so the AV node ‘blocks’ some of the electrical impulses, stopping some of them from reaching the ventricles. The ventricles often beat at a rate of about 75, or 100 or 150 beats per minute, depending on how many electrical impulses have been blocked by the AV node. However, it does this in an ordered way so that the heartbeat stays regular.

Some people have both atrial flutter and AF.

People who have atrial utter usually have an underlying heart condition. Possible causes include coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, heart valve disease, a hole in the heart, animation of the heart (such as myocarditis), high blood pressure, lung disease or thyroid problems.

Treatment: Treatment for atrial flutter may include one or more of: cardioversion; medicines such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and other anti-arrhythmic medicines; and/or catheter ablation.

Atrial flutter also increases your risk of developing a blood clot inside the chambers of the heart. If the clot breaks off it could cause a stroke. To reduce this risk, you may need to take an anticoagulant medicine such as warfarin.