Editorial - Current Trends in Cardiology (2021) Volume 5, Issue 6
Atrial flutter: Its risks, causes and symptoms.
Department of Cardiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA
- Corresponding Author:
- Prakosa Mukund
Department of Cardiology,
Columbia University Medical Center,
New York, USA
E-mail: pmukund @yahoo.com
Accepted date: November 15, 2021
Citation: Mukund P. Atrial flutter: Its risks, causes and symptoms. Curr Trend Cardiol. 2021;5(6):85
Atrial flutter is a heartbeat problem. Such problems are called arrhythmias, regardless of the rhythm or speed of the heartbeat. Atrial flutter is caused by abnormal circulation in the right atrium or upper ventricle. It's a very fast beat, about 250-400 beats per minute. The normal heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute. When the signal reaches the atrioventricular node, the upper muscle wall between the ventricles, and the bundle of cells in the lower chamber of the heart, the beat slows down. Beats are usually slowed by a quarter or half or between 150 and 75 beats per minute. An abnormally fast heart rate is called tachycardia. Atrial flutter originates from the atrium and is known as supraventricular (above the ventricle) tachycardia. Atrial flutter is closely associated with another arrhythmia, Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). Symptoms such as palpitation and dizziness are common to both disorders. About one-third of people with atrial fibrillation also have atrial flutter. In atrial flutter, electrical impulses do not travel straight from the top of the heart. Instead, they move in a circle in the upper room. As a result, the heart beats too fast, but it's still a stable rhythm. With AFib, the electrical signals that pass through the atrial are fast, chaotic, and sway rather than squeeze. The result is a chaotic rhythm where the heart beats too fast.
Risks, Causes and Symptoms of Atrial Flutter
The main risk of atrial flutter is that if the heart beats too fast, the heart will not be able to pump blood well.
• Not enough blood may be supplied to important organs such as the heart muscle and brain, which can lead to organ dysfunction.
• May cause congestive heart failure, heart attack, or stroke.
With proper treatment, atrial flutter is rarely life-threatening. Complications of atrial flutter can be catastrophic, but treatment most often prevents them.
• Some people can't find the cause. However, atrial flutter can occur due to the following causes:
• Heart disease or other problems
• Diseases elsewhere in the body that affect the heart
• Substances that change the way the heart transmits electrical impulses.
Heart conditions or problems that can cause atrial flapping include the ischemia which is decreased blood flow to the heart due to coronary artery disease, arteriosclerosis, or blood clots, hypertension, cardiac disease (Heart muscle), abnormal heart valve (Especially mitral valve), enlargement (of the heart cavity) and Open heart surgery.
Other physical conditions affecting the heart are:
• Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid gland
• Pulmonary embolism: Blood clot in the blood vessels of the lung
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A condition that lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Substances that can cause fluttering of the heart include alcohol (wine, beer, or hard) and stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, diet pills, cold medicines, and even caffeine. Some people have no symptoms of atrial flutter. Other Descriptions are palpitations (fast heartbeat or chest throbbing or flapping), shortness of breath, anxiety, difficulty, confusion and fatigue. People with atrial flutter heart or lung disease experience may flutter these and other more serious symptoms are angina (chest or heart pain), anxiety or dyspnea, fainting.