Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Flutter Atrial Cardioversion

Paddle Cardioversion
Electrical cardioversion may be used to treat atrial flutter. Cardioversion introduces a brief electrical current to the heart, through the chest wall. The electric current is delivered through metal electrodes that are attached to the surface of the chest. The procedure resets the heart's own pacemaker, which converts the atrial fibrillation to a normal rhythm.

Internal Cardioversion
An internal automatic cardiac defibrillator may also be used to perform cardioversion in those who have recurrent atrial flutter. This is a small device that is placed inside the chest, like a pacemaker. The defibrillator can deliver a brief electric current when it senses atrial fibrillation.

Pacemaker Cardioversion
Some cardiac pacemakers also have built-in defibrillator capability, allowing for cardioversion when the heart rate or rhythm becomes abnormal. Pacemakers are electronic devices that regulate the heart rate within a normal range.

Continue to Flutter Atrial Catheter Ablation

Last Updated: Apr 2, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Flutter Atrial References
  1. Ghali WA, Wasil BI, Brant R, Exner DV, Cornuz J. Atrial flutter and the risk of thromboembolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2005 Feb;118(2):101-7. [15694889]
  2. Lee KW, Yang Y, Scheinman MM; University of Califoirnia-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. Atrial flutter: a review of its history, mechanisms, clinical features, and current therapy. Curr Probl Cardiol. 2005 Mar;30(3):121-67. [15711509]
  3. Mead GE, Flapan AD, Elder AT. Electrical cardioversion for atrial fibrillation and flutter. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1):CD002903. [11869642]
  4. Waldo AL. Mechanisms of atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation: distinct entities or two sides of a coin? Cardiovasc Res. 2002 May;54(2):217-29. [12062328]
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