Atrial Flutter

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Atrial flutter is a type of heartbeat that causes a fast heart rate. This is due to an issue with the heart’s electrical system that causes the upper parts of the heart to beat fast which can lead to blood clots and possibly heart failure


Atrial flutter is often caused by another heart condition or another heart rhythm problem. Atrial flutter can also occur after heart surgery.


Some people experience symptoms when they have atrial flutter episodes and others may not experience symptoms. Below are symptoms that the patient may feel

  • Fluttering, racing, or pounding feeling in the chest
  • Weak or tired
  • Dizziness
  • Short of breath
  • Chest pain

Imaging and Diagnostics:

To properly diagnose atrial flutter, the doctor will preform tests to determine the heart condition. Tests that may be perform include

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter monitor
  • Echocardiogram


Treatments for atrial flutter are meant to help control the heart rate and prevent strokes. Treatments include

  • Medication to slow heart rate
  • Blood-thinning medication
  • Electrical cardioversion
  • Catheter ablation

Lifestyle Changes:

Lifestyle changes may help reduce atrial flutter episodes. Having a healthy heart will help manage the atrial flutter. To have a healthy heart, the patient should do the following.

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Regularly exercise
  • Maintain healthy weight or lose weight if needed
  • Quit Smoking
  • Get a flu shot every year
  • Drink alcohol in moderation or avoid it entirely