Overview

In atrial flutter, your 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 your heart's electrical system.

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