Atrial flutter is an abnormal cardiac rhythm characterized by rapid, regular atrial depolarizations at a characteristic rate of approximately 300 beats/min and a regular ventricular rate of about 150 beats/min in patients not taking atrioventricular (AV) nodal blockers. It can lead to symptoms of palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, or lightheadedness, as well as an increased risk of atrial thrombus formation that may cause cerebral and/or systemic embolization. Atrial flutter occurs in many of the same situations as atrial fibrillation, which is much more common.
Atrial flutter is similar to atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder. However, the rhythm in your atria is more organized and less chaotic in atrial flutter than are the abnormal patterns common with atrial fibrillation. Sometimes you may have periods of both atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation.
An estimated 1.6 million Canadians are living with heart disease or the effects of a strokev.More than 400,000 Canadians are living with long-term stroke disabilityvii.In 2011, almost 14,000 Canadians died as the result of a heart attackx.By adopting healthy behaviours, you can delay the onset of heart disease or stroke by as much as 14 yearsxvi.Up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable by adopting healthy behavioursxvii.