Severe Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia

Severe Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia

Severe paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, often referred to as SVT, is an abnormally fast heart rhythm that originates in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. The heart rate may exceed 200 beats per minute. This condition can lead to lightheadedness, a sensation of one's heart racing, faintness, and shortness of breath. SVT is often caused by an excessive amount of electrical signaling in the heart’s conduction system.

In some cases, SVT can be treated without medications. However, in the majority of cases, medicine must be taken to control the condition. SVT is diagnosed using a variety of tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), a nuclear stress test, and others.

Symptoms of Severe Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia

The symptoms of severe paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) may vary depending on the person and the length of the episode. Many people experience these symptoms during an episode:

  • A racing or pounding feeling in the chest
  • Feeling lightheaded or fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating, anxiety, or chest pain
  • Weakness or fatigue

Risk Factors for SVT

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of having SVT. Common risk factors include:

  • Underlying cardiac problems or conditions
  • Family history of SVT
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol
  • High blood pressure
  • Caffeine or other stimulants

It is important to understand and manage any risk factors associated with SVT to prevent future episodes.

Treatment for SVT

SVT can be treated with medications, procedures, or a combination of the two. Common medications used to treat SVT include beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and antiarrhythmic medications. Other medicines, such as digitalis, may be used in specific cases.

Cardiac ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure that can be used to treat SVT. The procedure involves placing catheters into the heart and using a special type of energy to create small scars that block the electrical signals that cause an arrhythmia. The procedure is done in a cardiac catheterization laboratory, usually under general anesthesia.

Finally, electrical cardioversion can be used to treat SVT, particularly in emergency situations. During this procedure, a doctor will use a special type of electrical shock to stop the abnormal heart rhythm and restore a normal rhythm.

It is important to talk to your doctor to figure out which treatment is best for your particular case.