Patients with atrial flutter usually continue to have a regular heartbeat, even though it is faster than normal. It is possible that patients may feel no symptoms at all. Others do experience symptoms, which may include: heart palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue, a reduced exercise tolerance, pressure, tightness or discomfort in your chest and dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. If left untreated, the side effects of atrial flutter can, in selected individuals, lead to more serious conditions. There is a risk of stroke due to clot formation or heart failure due to the heart beating rapidly for long periods of time causing the heart muscle to become weak.
If the Cardiologist suspects atrial flutter, then a simple ECG can help confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend an Ambulatory ECG Monitor and Echocardiogram to further evaluate your condition. In selected patients, further investigations may be required.
Although drugs that regulate heart rate and rhythm can be used in an attempt to control atrial flutter, this type of heart rhythm is particularly resistant to medications. Cardioversion is an alternative option where an electrical current is used to "shock" the heart back to its normal rhythm.
The most optimal recommended treatment is radiofrequency catheter ablation which is potentially curative treatment for atrial flutter and is associated with better success rates and much lower recurrence rates when compared to mediaction or cardioversion.
This procedure blocks the electrical signals that cause a fluttering heartbeat and restores sinus rhythm. [READ MORE]
This procedure prevents faulty electrical impulses being sent within the heart. [READ MORE]
This test shows how the heart, lungs and muscles react when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]
This treatment aims to return an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) to a normal pattern. [READ MORE]
This scan is used to ascertain the risk of a heart attack or stroke within the next 5-10 years. [READ MORE]
An ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function. [READ MORE]
An ECG is a simple test that looks at the electrical activity of the heart. [READ MORE]
This monitoring measures the electrical activity of your heart over a longer period than an ECG. [READ MORE]
This study analyses the heart's electrical activity and is used to diagnose the cause of abnormal heartbeats. [READ MORE]
Monitors are used to provide a prolonged record of a heart’s operation and symptoms. [READ MORE]
This device records a heart’s rhythm continuously for up to two years. [READ MORE]
These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]
This procedure helps block the electrical signals that cause an abnormal rapid heartbeat. [READ MORE]