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In 2009, 2343 catheter ablation procedures were performed in Spain for focal atrial tachycardia or atrial flutter (typical and atypical), with a yearly growth rate of 8%, indicating the clinical importance of these arrhythmias. The classic categorization of atrial tachycardia and atrial flutter based on rate and morphological criteria has become almost irrelevant at a time when clinical electrophysiology may lead to curative intervention based on a definition of the mechanism, making it necessary to bring laboratory experience closer to clinical practice. In this review we outline our present understanding of atrial tachycardia mechanisms, both focal and macroreentrant, and attempt to establish the conceptual links with classic concepts that may help the clinician to make a differential diagnosis and establish therapeutic indications, including that of an electrophysiologic study. Some of the concepts may seem complex, but we thought it important to provide an overview of the electrophysiological methods that may eventually lead to the description of the anatomic bases of the arrhythmias; currently, these are easier to understand thanks to the virtual anatomic casts built using computerized navigation systems. Copyright © 2011 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.


Francisco García-Cosío, Agustín Pastor Fuentes, Ambrosio Núñez Angulo. Arrhythmias (IV). Clinical approach to atrial tachycardia and atrial flutter from an understanding of the mechanisms. Electrophysiology based on anatomy. Revista española de cardiología (English ed.). 2012 Apr;65(4):363-75

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PMID: 22364957

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