Atrial endocardial mapping in the rare form of atrial flutter

Am J Cardiol. 1990 Sep 15;66(7):715-20. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(90)91136-t.


Endocardial atrial activation mapping was performed in 7 patients with rare atrial flutter (AF), inscribing predominantly positive deflections on leads II, III and aVF. In 2 cases both a rare and a common AF were mapped on different occasions. Every case displayed circular right atrial activation. In 5 of the 7 cases rare AF direction was clockwise (craniocaudal in the septum and posterior wall and caudocranial on the lateral and anterior walls). In 2 cases rare AF direction was counterclockwise (caudocranial in the septum and posterior wall and craniocaudal in the lateral and anterior walls). Both common AF rotated counterclockwise. A "line" of conduction delay or block was present in both clockwise and counterclockwise circuits between the posterior and lateral walls, in the probable location of the crista terminalis. This line of block extended the central obstacle made by the inferior vena cava toward, but perhaps not all the way to, the superior vena cava, making activation rotate roughly around the tricuspid ring. The ridge between the inferior vena cava and the tricuspid ring was a critical anatomic "closing" point in all clockwise and counterclockwise circuits. Right atrial macroreentry underlies rare AF. Direction of activation tends to be opposite to that in common AF. The cause of the positive deflection is unclear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Flutter / diagnosis
  • Atrial Flutter / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Endocardium / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / physiopathology
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged