Cardiology

Atrial Flutter

AF VideoAtrial flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm  in which abnormal electrical signals in the heart’s top chamber (atria) result in a rapid heart beat

Atrial flutter is very similar to atrial fibrillation, another type of heart rhythm disorder. With atrial flutter, blood can pool, leading to small blood clots forming in the heart. These clots can dislodge, travel to the brain, and cause strokes.

EKG

Click on image to enlarge

Symptoms

 

  • Feeling of your heart racing
  • Chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity
  • Swelling in your legs or feet

Diagnostic Tests

Treatment

  • Medicines to slow your heart rate and control its rhythm.
  • Blood thinners to prevent clots from forming, which may lead to stroke.
  • Cardioversion — a procedure used to restore the heart’s normal rhythm — is perfomed by giving the patient a sedative, then applying  an electrical current to the chest.  It is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
  • Ablation may be performed if atrial flutter comes back after cardioversion. Although more invasive than a cardioversion, this is generally very safe and effective in restoring the heart’s normal rhythm.

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