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Cardiology Teaching Package

A Beginners Guide to Normal Heart Function, Sinus Rhythm & Common Cardiac Arrhythmias

Causes of Atrial Flutter

Atrial flutter often presents at a rate of 150 bpm on admission. This means that every second flutter wave is depolarising the AV node, but the first wave is blocked due to the "refractory period" (This is known as "atrial flutter with 2:1 block"). Once under control the rate tends to come down in a ratio to 300.

For example:

table showing Atrial Flutter ratio against heart rate
Ratio Rate
Atrial flutter with 2:1 block150
Atrial flutter with 3:1 block100
Atrial flutter with 4:1 block75
Atrial flutter with 5:1 block60
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