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Atrial Flutter Definition & Overview

Definition

The heart is comprised of four chambers: two upper chambers (atria) and two lower chambers (ventricles). Electrical signals regulate the heart beat, and help the atria and ventricles work together in the same rhythm. The blood from the atria is pushed into the ventricles, and then leaves the heart to circulate to the rest of the body.

Atrial flutter is a type of abnormal fast beating ( arrhythmia ) in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. These fast beats prevent the atria from pushing all the blood into the ventricles. As a result, the ventricles push less blood into the body.

Atrial flutter may be an acute or chronic recurring disorder. When treated, atrial flutter is not usually life-threatening. However, it may increase your risk of developing blood clots and stroke .

This condition can be treated. Contact your doctor if you think you may have atrial flutter.

Anatomy of the Heart

© 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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