Symptomatic Atrial flutter

What is Symptomatic Atrial Flutter?

Symptomatic Atrial Flutter (AFL) is an unusually fast heart rhythm often exceeding 250 beats per minute (bpm). It occurs in the atria of the heart, the upper two chambers of the heart, resulting in an inefficient heartbeat. This can lead to symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath and lightheadedness. AFL is often a type of atrial tachycardia (AT) and there are many forms including Type I and Type II.

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for developing AFL including: age, heart disease, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, use of stimulants such as caffeine, over-the-counter drugs and certain medications.


When an individual experiences AFL, they often present symptoms such as:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • chest pain
  • fainting


The diagnosis of AFL is usually made through a combination of electrocardiogram (ECG) tests and other diagnostic tools such as echocardiography.


When treating AFL, the goal is to restore a normal rhythm and prevent future episodes. Treatment options can include medications, catheter ablation, implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) or radiofrequency ablation. Your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for you based on your medical history and your individual symptoms.


It is important to reduce the risk factors that can lead to the development of AFL. Steps to reduce the risk of AFL include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting adequate rest, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Talk to your doctor about additional methods of risk reduction and management of AFL.