Overview

In atrial flutter, the heart's upper chambers (atria) beat too quickly. This causes the heart to beat in a fast, but usually regular, rhythm.

Atrial flutter is a type of heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia) caused by problems in the heart's electrical system.

Atrial flutter is similar to atrial fibrillation, a common disorder that causes the heart to beat in irregular patterns. People with atrial flutter have a heart rhythm that's more organized and less chaotic than that of atrial fibrillation. Sometimes a person may have episodes of both atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation.

People with atrial flutter may not have symptoms. However, the disorder can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other complications. There are effective treatments for atrial flutter, including medication or procedures designed to scar small areas of heart tissue (ablation).

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

May 27, 2022

Living with atrial flutter?

Connect with others like you for support and answers to your questions in the Heart Rhythm Conditions support group on Mayo Clinic Connect, a patient community.

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  1. Ferri FF. Atrial flutter. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2022. Elsevier; 2022. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  2. What is an arrhythmia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/arrhythmias. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  3. Ami TR. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. May 11, 2022.
  4. Phang R. Overview of atrial flutter. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 9, 2022.