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All about atrial flutter symptoms of atrial flutter complications of atrial flutter diagnosis of atrial flutter treatment for atrial flutter arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) {bundle branch block cardiac arrhythmia atrial fibrillation atrial flutter supraventricular tachycardia sick sinus syndrome ventricular arrhythmias ventricular tachycardia ventricular fibrillation heart block Brugada syndrome long QT syndrome short QT syndrome Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW syndrome)}

What are the complications of atrial flutter?

Clot formation: In atrial flutter, as in atrial fibrillation, there is no effective contraction of the atria. In individuals with structural heart disease, this causes stasis of blood in the atria. The stasis of blood leads to formation of thrombus material (clots)

within the heart. In the left side of the heart, thrombus is most likely for form in the left atrial appendage. This is important because, since the left side of the heart supplies blood to the entire body, any thrombus material that dislodges from the left side of the heart can potentially embolize to the brain, causing a stroke. Of course, the thrombus material can also embolize to any other portion of the body.

Sudden death: Sudden death is not directly associated with atrial flutter. However, in individuals with a pre-existing accessory conduction pathway, such as the bundle of Kent in Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, the accessory pathway may conduct activity from the atria to the ventricles much faster than the AV node. In this case, the atrial rate of 300 beats/minute will lead to a ventricular rate of 300 beats/minute. The ventricles, unable to sustain a ventricular tachycardia at such a high rate, will go into ventricular fibrillation, which will quickly lead to hemodynamic collapse and death.

More information on atrial flutter

What is atrial flutter? - Atrial flutter is a rhythmic, fast rhythm that occurs in the atria of the heart. This rhythm occurs most often in individuals with organic heart disease.
What're the symptoms of atrial flutter? - Symptoms of atrial flutter include regular pulse, low blood pressure, palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or lightheadedness, chest pain.
What're the complications of atrial flutter? - Complications of atrial flutter include clot formation, and sudden death. Sudden death is not directly associated with atrial flutter.
How is atrial flutter diagnosed? - Diagnosis of atrial flutter begins with a medical history and physical exam. The actual diagnosis is confirmed with an electrocardiogram.
What's the treatment for atrial flutter? - For both atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation, the various treatment modalities can be put into two groups: rate control and rhythm control.
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