Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Atrial Flutter

Causes of atrial flutter include hypertension, cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart valve, hypertrophy, hyperthyroidism, and pulmonary embolism.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Atrial Flutter

Atrial flutter is a type of heart rhythm disorder caused by problems in the heart's electrical system.

Insight:

  • Atrial flutter is similar to atrial fibrillation, a common disorder that causes the heart to beat in abnormal patterns.
  • In atrial flutter, the heart's upper chambers (atria) beat too quickly, which causes the heart to beat in a fast—but usually regular—rhythm.
  • Atrial flutter can include paroxysmal atrial flutter or persistent atrial flutter.
  • Causes of atrial flutter include hypertension, cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart valve, hypertrophy, hyperthyroidism, and pulmonary embolism.
  • Symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, anxiety, trouble exercising, confusion, tiredness, angina pectoris, feeling faint or lightheaded, and fainting
  • The main treatment options include medications that will slow the heart rate and help prevent stroke. These include blood thinners that can help prevent stroke, electrical cardioversion to stop atrial flutter, and catheter ablation to stop the atrial flutter.

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