What is the similarities and differences between atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter (AFL) on TEE?

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

Unlike atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter has a regular pattern of atrial contraction. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) data demonstrate an organized sawtooth pattern of left atrial appendage flow with alternating filling and emptying wavelets. No difference in left atrial appendage function is observed in comparison to patients in sinus rhythm. Patients with both atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation have significantly decreased left atrial appendage function, more spontaneous echo contrast, and larger left atria and accompanying appendages.


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