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.
The prevalence of AF, weighted for the age and sex distribution of the general population, was 2.5%. AF was found to be more common in older persons, with a more pronounced increase in men: whereas its prevalence was 0.7% in 35- to 44-year-old men, the corresponding figure for the age group 65- to 74 was as high as 10.6%. Twenty five participants (15.5% of AF cases) received their initial diagnosis of AF on the basis of the study ECG. Compared to persons without AF, persons with AF were older and more commonly male, and they had a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors.