Font Size

Atrial Flutter (cont.)

What causes atrial flutter?

Atrial flutter may be caused by abnormalities of the heart, by diseases of the heart, or by diseases elsewhere in the body that affect the heart. Atrial flutter may also be caused by consuming substances that change the way electrical impulses are transmitted through the heart. Atrial flutter can occur after open heart surgery. In a few people, no underlying cause is ever found.

Heart diseases or abnormalities that can cause atrial flutter include the following:

Diseases elsewhere in the body that affect the heart include the following:

Substances that may contribute to atrial flutter include the following:

  • Alcohol (wine, beer, or hard liquor)
  • Stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, diet pills, cold medicines, and even caffeine

Atrial flutter is closely related to another arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation sometimes occur together.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/13/2016
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Atrial Flutter

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) describes a rapid, irregular heart rhythm. The irregular rhythm, or learn more >>

Blood Clots
Blood Clots Blood is supposed to clot to help repair a blood vessel that is injured. Clots or thrombi become a problem when they form inappropriately. There are a variety o...learn more >>

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart that can be caused by a variety of other diseases, conditions, medications, and heredity. Cardiomyopathy causes can ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Atrial Flutter:

Atrial Flutter - Experience

Please share your experience with atrial flutter.

Atrial Flutter - Treatment

What treatment has been effective for your atrial flutter?

Atrial Flutter - Symptoms

For atrial flutter, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Atrial Fibrillation Slideshow

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Atrial Flutter »

Atrial flutter has many clinical aspects that are similar to atrial fibrillation(ie, underlying disease, predisposing factors, complications, medical management).

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary