Atrial Flutter and Radiofrequency catheter ablation questions...

  1. I'm a student, and we're suppose to interpret a rhythm strip. I have a rhythm strip for a patient who has atrial flutter. And the pt. had radiofrequency catheter ablation to correct the atrial flutter. I was able to observe the procedure in the cath lab at a local hospital.

    My questions are:

    Does the patient receive any cardiac medications to correct the flutter before catheter ablation is attempted to permanently cure the atrial fluter? If so, what meds are used?

    Lastly, I understand the P waves in atrial flutter are not measurable, that's what I read in the book. The ORS complex is measurable and it is sually less than 0.10 sec. Is it possible to measure the QT interval in atrial flutter? I am trying to find the end of the T wave in my rhythm strip, but I can't find it. The example in the book said that QT intervals can't be measured in atrial flutters.

    I was merely observing that day during the clinical, so I didn't get to see his medication lists before the procedure to see if he had any cardiac medications.
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    About Animaniacs, BSN

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 108; Likes: 4
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Med-Surg/Telemetry


  3. by   RN12345656
    Pts in A.Flutter are treated with meds before ablation is attempted. Just think..meds before anything invasive. Sounds like this pt was unable to convert with the use of medications. Depending on pts hx and dx the meds could be betablockers, calcium channel blockers, digoxin, and/or amiodarone. This pt should also be on a anticoagulant, such as coumadin or lovenox. This is held for the procedure, of course.
    You are correct about the inability to measure a T wave or QT in A.Flutter. The 12-lead is able to come up with those measurements. Just because you can't measure it on the 5-lead, doesn't mean there isn't one. Remember..the Qwave is the beginning of the QRS (ventricular contraction) and the T wave represents the ventricles repolarizing-getting ready for another contraction. Atrial Flutter is a dysrhymthia of the atrium, not the ventricles.
    Hope this helps!!:wink2: