Atypical atrial flutter: clinical features, electrophysiological characteristics and response to radiofrequency catheter ablation

Europace. 2002 Jul;4(3):241-53. doi: 10.1053/eupc.2002.0242.


Aims: To evaluate the clinical and electrophysiological features of atypical atrial flutter (AAF) and its response to radiofrequency catheter ablation.

Methods and results: In 90 consecutive patients referred for sustained atrial flutter, bipolar recordings were obtained from the tricuspid annulus, coronary sinus, interatrial septum and left atrium. AAF was defined by the absence of concealed entrainment from the inferior vena cava--tricuspid annulus isthmus. Target sites were identified by early, fragmented or double potentials and by concealed entrainment. Linear lesions were created between target sites and nearby anatomical barriers in a temperature-controlled mode: 20 episodes of AAFs were documented in 19/90 (21%) patients. Mitral valve disease and surgery were significantly more frequent in patients with AAF. Target sites were identified in the right atrial free wall (n=8), interatrial septum (n=6), left atrium (n=4) and coronary sinus (n=2). Effective ablation was obtained in 15/19 patients (79%). After a 15.7 +/- 10.7 month follow-up, AAF recurred in 0/15 patients with a successful and 3/4 (75%) with a failed procedure (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Conventional mapping techniques enable identification of critical sites of AAF and allow successful ablation in the majority of cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atrial Flutter / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Flutter / physiopathology
  • Atrial Flutter / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome