What is the prognosis of atrial flutter (AFL)?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

The prognosis for atrial flutter depends on the patient’s underlying medical condition. Any prolonged atrial arrhythmia can cause a tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy. Intervening to control the ventricular response rate or to return the patient to sinus rhythm is important. Thrombus formation in the left atrium has been described in patients with atrial flutter (0-21%). Thromboembolic complications have also been described. [6]

Because of the conduction properties of the atrioventricular (AV) node, many people with atrial flutter will have a faster ventricular response than those with atrial fibrillation. The heart rate is often more difficult to control with atrial flutter than with atrial fibrillation, because of increased concealed conduction in those with atrial fibrillation.


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