Atypical atrial flutter has, hitherto, been relatively refractory to termination by rapid atrial pacing. High-frequency pacing (HFP) in the atrium, for termination of atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation (AF), and the electrophysiologic effects related to it have not been examined. We examined the clinical efficacy, safety, and electrophysiologic mechanisms of HFP using 50-Hz bursts at 10 mA applied at the high right atrium in patients with atypical atrial flutter (group 1) or AF (group 2), using a prospective randomized study protocol. Four burst durations (500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 ms) were applied at the high right atrium repetitively in random sequence in 22 patients with spontaneous atrial flutter or AF. Local and distant right and left atrial electrogram recordings were analyzed during and after HFP. HFP resulted in local and distant right and left atrial electrogram acceleration in 8 of 10 patients (80%) in group 1 but caused less frequent local atrial electrogram acceleration (6 of 12 patients) and no distant atrial electrogram effects in group 2 (p < .05 versus group 1). The HFP protocol was effective in arrhythmia termination in 6 of 10 patients in group 1 but in no patient in group 2 (p < .05 versus group 1). Standard HFP protocol applied at the high right atrium can frequently alter atrial activation in both atria and can terminate atypical atrial flutter. Efficacy in AF is limited, probably due to limited electrophysiologic actions beyond the local pacing site.