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Atrial Flutter

Atrial flutter occurs when rapidly fired signals cause the muscles in the atria, the upper chambers of the heart, to contract quickly. This causes a very fast, steady heartbeat.

Our Approach to Atrial Flutter

Over the past decades, UCSF has helped pioneer breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of arrhythmias, or heart rhythm disorders, such as atrial flutter. The abnormal electrical circuit in the heart that causes the most common type, called typical atrial flutter, was discovered by UCSF researchers, and the most commonly used treatment, catheter ablation, was first performed on humans here in 1981. This minimally invasive procedure, which uses radio-frequency waves to disable the electrical pathways causing the arrhythmia, has a success rate of about 97 percent. Our experienced team of electrophysiologists – cardiologists who subspecialize in heart rhythm disorders – performs more than 500 catheter ablations every year.

We continue to drive research on atrial flutter that may lead to new ways to treat or even prevent the condition. Interested patients may have the option to join one of our clinical trials.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • One of the nation’s best in cardiology & heart surgery

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.