Background - The terms counterclockwise (CC) and clockwise (C) atrial flutter (Afl) are used to describe right atrial activation around the tricuspid valve in the left anterior oblique view. The manner in which the left atrium is activated, as reflected by coronary sinus (CS) recordings, has not been systematically evaluated. Methods and Results - Nine patients with both CC and C Afl underwent electrophysiological study with CS recordings during both rhythms with the use of a decapolar catheter with the tip placed in the distal CS. Patterns of CS activation during each type of Afl as well as during during sinus rhythm were categorized into 1 of 3 patterns: sequential proximal-to-distal, sequential distal-to-proximal, and fused, indicating activation from different directions. In 7 of 9 patients, the pattern of CS activation in CC Afl and C Afl differed, with a proximal-to-distal pattern in CC Afl and a fused pattern in C Afl. In 2 patients, pacing the high right atrial septum near the presumed site of Bachmann's bundle in sinus rhythm showed a similar fused pattern of CS activation. Conclusions - These results demonstrate different patterns of CS activation in CC Afl and C Afl in the majority of patients and are consistent with a model in which the left atrium is activated predominantly over Bachmann's bundle during C Afl and over the CS os in CC Afl. These findings may have implications for maintenance of Afl, interpretation of flutter wave morphology on surface ECG, and left atrial mechanical function in Afl.
- Atrial flutter