Atypical atrial flutter originating in the right atrial free wall

John G. Kall*, Donald S. Rubenstein, Douglas E. Kopp, Martin C. Burke, Ralph J. Verdino, Albert C. Lin, C. Timothy Johnson, Philip A. Cooke, Zhong G. Wang, Michael Fumo, David J. Wilber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Background - Data from experimental models of atrial flutter indicate that macro-reentrant circuits may be confined by anatomic and functional barriers remote from the tricuspid annulus-eustachian ridge atrial isthmus. Data characterizing the various forms of atypical atrial flutter in humans are limited. Methods and Results - In 6 of 160 consecutive patients referred for ablation of counterclockwise and/or clockwise typical atrial flutter, an additional atypical atrial flutter was mapped to the right atrial free wall. Five patients had no prior cardiac surgery. Incisional atrial tachycardia was excluded in the remaining patient. High-density electroanatomic maps of the reentrant circuit were obtained in 3 patients. Radiofrequency energy application from a discrete midlateral right atrial central line of conduction block to the inferior vena cava terminated and prevented the reinduction of atypical atrial flutter in each patient. Atrial flutter has not recurred in any patient (follow-up, 18±17 months; range, 3 to 40 months). Conclusions - Atrial flutter can arise in the right atrial free wall. This form of atypical atrial flutter could account for spontaneous or inducible atrial flutter observed in patients referred for ablation and is eliminated with linear ablation directed at the inferolateral right atrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-279
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 25 2000


  • Atrial flutter
  • Catheter ablation
  • Mapping
  • Reentry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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