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Isthmus Dependent Atrial Flutter Cycle Length Correlates with Right Atrial Cross-Sectional Area

Keywords: Atrial Flutter , Reentrant arrhythmias , Catheter Ablation , Electrophysiology Study , Echocardiography , Right Atrium

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Abstract:

Background: Right atrial flutter cycle length can prolong in the presence of antiarrhythmic drug therapy. We hypothesized that the cycle length of right atrial isthmus dependent flutter would correlate with right atrial cross-sectional area measurements. Methods: 60 patients who underwent ablation for electrophysiologically proven isthmus dependent right atrial flutter, who were not on Class I or Class III antiarrhythmic drugs and had recent 2-dimensional echocardiographic data comprised the study group. Right atrial length and width were measured in the apical four chamber view. Cross-sectional area was estimated by multiplying the length and width. 35 patients had an atrial flutter rate ≥250 bpm (Normal Flutter Group) and 25 patients had an atrial flutter rate < 250 bpm (Slow Flutter Group). Results: Mean atrial flutter rate was 283 bpm in the normal flutter group and 227 bpm in the slow flutter group. Mean atrial flutter cycle length was 213 ms in the Normal Flutter Group and 265 ms in the Slow Flutter Group (p<0.0001). Mean right atrial cross sectional area was 1845 mm2 in the Normal Flutter group and 2378 mm2 in the Slow Flutter Group, (p< 0.0001). Using linear regression, CSA was a significant predictor of cycle length (β =0.014 p = 0.0045). For every 1 mm2 increase in cross-sectional area, cycle length is 0.014 ms longer.Conclusion: In the absence of antiarrhythmic medications, right atrial cross sectional area enlargement correlates with atrial flutter cycle length. These findings provide further evidence that historical rate-related definitions of typical isthmus dependent right atrial are not mechanistically valid.

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