How is atrial fibrillation (AF) differentiated from 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

Coarse atrial fibrillation may mimic atrial flutter over limited electrocardiogram (ECG) strips. Prolonged recordings will uncover an irregular rate and variation in P wave morphology (as compared to a regular rate and P wave morphology with atrial flutter). The distinction between atrial flutter and atrial tachycardia is generally arbitrarily based on the atrial rate, and does not mechanistically distinguish these rhythms.


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