Atrial Flutter

Also known as: AFL, cardiac arrhythmia, abnormal heart rhythm, supraventricular tachycardia

What is atrial flutter?

Atrial flutter is a type of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeats, that impact the atria (upper chambers) of the heart. With atrial flutter, the heart can beat rapidly or irregularly.


What causes atrial flutter?

The condition occurs due to an electrical problem with the heart. This can occur because of certain medical conditions or the use of some medications. Using caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or other drugs can increase the risk. Some patients with congenital heart disease will be at risk for developing atrial flutter.


What are the symptoms of atrial flutter?

Atrial flutter typically produces a steady but rapid heartbeat. Shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, chest pain or tightness and heart palpitations are other common symptoms.


What are atrial flutter care options?

Some lifestyle changes like avoiding smoking, alcohol and caffeine can help reduce the incidence of atrial flutter. Certain surgeries and medical procedures can treat the heart and reduce the chances of supraventricular tachycardia occurring.

 

Reviewed by: Anthony F. Rossi, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:06:14 PM

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