The effects of passive upright tilting from 0 ° to +60 ° (n = 27), Valsalva maneuver (n = 16) and respiration (n = 10) on the rate of atrial flutter were studied in 27 patients. After tilting to +60 °, the atrial flutter cycle length shortened in all patients from 247.5 ± 7 to 236.7 ± 6.9 ms (range of shortening 1 to 21 ms, p < 0.001). The Valsalva maneuver (strain of 40 mm Hg) shortened the flutter cycle length during the strain (phase 2) from 242.2 ±4.6 to 230.5 ± 5 ms (range of shortening 2 to 19 ms, p < 0.001). In 10 patients whose respiration was monitored, the flutter cycle length consistently prolonged during inspiration and short-ened during expiration. Combined beta-adrenergic and muscarinic receptor blockade in six patients did not significantly alter the flutter cycle length at rest or the effects of the various maneuvers on the changes in flutter cycle length. This study revealed that the atrial flutter cycle length can be shortened by passive upright tilting, the strain phase of the Valsalva maneuver and expiration. Changes in flutter cycle length were independent of autonomic tone, implying that by decreasing cardiac volume, these maneuvers affect characteristics of the atrial flutter circuit, thereby producing dynamic changes in the rate of atrial flutter. © 1991.
Waxman, M. B., Yao, L., Cameron, D. A., & Kirsh, J. A. (1991). Effects of posture, Valsalva maneuver and respiration on atrial flutter rate: An effect mediated through cardiac volume. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 17(7), 1545–1552. https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-1097(91)90645-P