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Typical Atrial Flutter (A-Flutter)

Also known as Cavotricuspid Isthmus (CTI)-Dependent Flutter 

So, you’ve been diagnosed with atrial flutter, what does that mean?
In the United States, approximately 200,000 people are diagnosed with A-flutter every year.  It is the second most common heart rhythm problem in the United States.  When managed well, people with atrial flutter can live normal and healthy lives.   

What is Atrial Flutter?

Atrial flutter is a type of abnormal heart rhythm that occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) beat too fast in a coordinated pattern.  This electrical problem causes the heart to pump fast and less efficiently.  It is closely related to a common abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. 

Why do people get atrial flutter?

The exact cause of atrial flutter is not always clear, but there are several factors that can increase the risk of developing this condition.  Some common causes and risk factors for atrial flutter include:

Is Atrial Flutter Dangerous?

A-Flutter can feel very scary, but it is not deadly. If A-Flutter is not treated properly, it can cause health complications including:  

Signs & Symptoms of Atrial Flutter

Some people do not have any symptoms when they are in A-flutter. Other people have bothersome symptoms. Signs and symptoms of A-flutter include: 

What should I do for an A-Flutter Episode?

If you’ve had this problem before and it feels similar to past ones, and you feel okay, you can do your normal activities.  Pay attention to how your body feels and rest if you need to. You can try some relaxing exercises like meditation or deep breathing. Take note of how long the problem lasts, how you feel during the episode(s), and if you’re having episodes more or less often than before. Tell your doctor about all these things when you see them next. 

Heart rhythm symptoms to call your provider about:  

Heart rhythm symptoms to go to the ER for:  

 How is Atrial Flutter Diagnosed?  

How is Cavotricuspid Isthmus (CTI)-Dependent Flutter Treated?  


Control other health conditions that impact A-flutter: exercise, weight loss, moderating/quitting alcohol, quitting drugs, treating sleep apnea, and controlling chronic diseases such as hypertension, coronary disease, diabetes, heart failure, thyroid disease, and lung disease can greatly impact how much A-flutter you have.   

Stroke/Embolic Event Prevention 

Rate Control  

Rhythm-Control Approaches