Atrial flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm that occurs in the atria of the heart. In patients that have not had any previous cardiac procedures or surgery, atrial flutter tends to arise from the right atrium. When it first occurs, it is usually associated with a fast heart rate or tachycardia (beats over 100 per minute). It can be associated with two major problems: 1. Symptoms of a rapid heart beat or shortness of breath. 2. Increased risk of stroke.