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Atrial Flutter

Atrial flutter is a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat too quickly, causing the heart to beat in a fast but regular rhythm.

Atrial flutter is similar to atrial fibrillation. However, the atrial rhythm with atrial flutter isn't as chaotic.

Risk factors

Several medical conditions can increase the risk for developing atrial flutter, including:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Congenital defects
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Lung disease
  • Previous heart attacks
  • Recent surgery
  • Thyroid dysfunction

Symptoms

Not everyone experiences symptoms with atrial flutter. You may notice a rapid but steady heartbeat. Other symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fast pulse
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pain or tightness in your chest
  • Difficulty with exercise and everyday activities
  • Shortness of breath

Treatment

Atrial flutter treatment involves returning the heart back to a normal rhythm. This can be done in several ways:

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