Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia
(PSVT; Supraventricular Tachycardia)
|Anatomy of the Heart|
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- Affects women more often than men
- Most commonly develops in a person's 20s or 30s, but can occur at any age
- Occurs more often in people who are anxious, under stress, or physically fatigued
- Hyperactive thyroid gland
- Excess caffeine or alcohol use
- Respiratory illnesses
- Low potassium and magnesium levels
- Valvular heart disease
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
- Weakness, dizziness, or feeling faint
- Shortness of breath and anxiety
- Chest discomfort
- Rarely, loss of consciousness
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) —measures the electrical activity of the heart
- Implantable loop recorder (ILR) is a small device that is surgically implanted under the skin of the chest and can be left in place for up to a year, or longer in some cases, in order to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms.
- Electrophysiologic study (EPS) is an invasive heart study where electrical wires are placed in the heart through a small puncture in the veins in groin. These wires map the electrical conduction system of the heart to locate the source of the abnormality.
- Echocardiogram or ultrasound exam of the heart to exclude structural heart disease
- Blood tests to look for abnormalities in electrolytes and thyroid function
- Calcium channel blockers such as verapamil (Calan) or diltiazem (Cardizem)
- Beta-blockers such as atenolol or metoprolol (Lopressor)
- Antiarrhythmic medications
- Limit alcohol, smoking, and caffeine
- Avoid stressful situations
- Avoid excessive fatigue and lack of sleep
American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org/
Heart Rhythm Society http://www.hrsonline.org/
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/
DynaMed Editorial Team. Supraventricular tachycardia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated July 20, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2010.
Ferguson JD, DiMarco JP. Contemporary management of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. Circulation . 2003; 107:1096-1099.
Libby P, Braunwald E. Tachycardias involving the AV Junction. In: Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine . 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2005.
Merck Manual. Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. Merck Manual website. Available at: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/print/sect03/ch027/ch027d.html. Accessed July 2005.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 02/03/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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