Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia Overview

What is paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia?
A person with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia has episodes of an abnormally rapid heart rate. Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the heart. The abnormal electrical activity may be present at birth, or may be caused by heart disease.

What are the symptoms of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia?
Symptoms of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia may include rapid pulse, palpitations, difficulty breathing, chest pain, faintness, fainting, dizziness, and anxiety.

How does the doctor treat paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia?
The initial treatment for paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia includes medications to control the heart rate and rhythm. Additional treatment for paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia may include avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine, alcohol, and decongestants that can accelerate the heart rate. In some cases, a cardiac pacemaker may be required to control paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.

Continue to Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia References
  1. Betts TR, Goldberger JJ, Kadish AH. Frequency and characteristics of progressive aberrancy during supraventricular tachycardia. Am J Cardiol. 2003 Sep 15;92(6):736-9. [12972123]
  2. Goebel PJ, Daya MR, Gunnels MD. Accuracy of arrhythmia recognition in paramedic treatment of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia: a ten-year review. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2004 Apr-Jun;8(2):166-70. [15060851]
  3. Losek JD, Endom E, Dietrich A, Stewart G, Zempsky W, Smith K. Adenosine and pediatric supraventricular tachycardia in the emergency department: multicenter study and review. Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Feb;33(2):185-91. [9922414]
  4. Porter MJ, Morton JB, Denman R, et al. Influence of age and gender on the mechanism of supraventricular tachycardia. Heart Rhythm. 2004 Oct;1(4):393-6. [15851189]
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