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Atrial Flutter Symptoms & Diagnosis


If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume the cause is due to atrial flutter. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them consistently, see your physician.

Atrial flutter does not always produce symptoms. However, symptoms, when present, include:

  • A “fluttering” or tremor-like feeling in the chest
  • Palpitations (rapid heart beat or pounding sensation in the chest)
  • Pressure or discomfort in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness or fainting


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Depending on your condition, your doctor may also recommend that you see a cardiologist or arrhythmia specialist. This type of physician may be found in a larger hospital.

Tests may include the following:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) —a test that records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle
  • Holter monitor—a device worn around the neck that will continuously record your heart rhythm for a 24-72 hours
  • Echocardiogram —a test that uses high-frequency sounds waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart
  • Electrophysiological or EP study—a test in which catheters are threaded through arteries in your groin or neck all the way into your heart. This test may identify the exact source of an abnormal rhythm. An area of the heart responsible for an abnormal rhythm may also be treated during the course of this study. (See ablation therapy )

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