Ask the doctor: Atrial fibrillation vs. atrial flutter

Q. What's the difference between atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation?

A. Both of these heart-rhythm disorders arise from electrical misfires in the heart's upper chambers, or atria. The symptoms are often similar—mainly palpitations and lightheadedness. The conditions can occur together, and both are treated with either drugs or procedures that restore the heart's normal rhythm. But there are a few key differences.

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