Supraventricular tachycardia is the most common type of arrhythmia in infants and children, but it occurs in people of all ages. If you develop an irregular rapid heart rate, you can receive prompt and comprehensive care at Naples Heart Rhythm Specialists, P.A., where the doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms like supraventricular tachycardia. If you have questions about your symptoms or need to schedule an appointment, call one of the three offices in Naples, Florida, or use the online booking feature.
Supraventricular tachycardia refers to several types of arrhythmias that share two key qualities. First, they make your heart beat faster than normal. And second, they’re caused by abnormal electrical activity that begins above the ventricles (supraventricular), which are the two lower chambers of your heart. In other words, the problem begins in the upper chambers called the atria.
Your heart has a natural pacemaker called the sinoatrial (SA) node, which is in the upper right atria. The SA node fires the electrical signals that begin each heartbeat. Then the electrical signal travels through specific pathways, triggering muscle contractions that pump blood through your heart.
You develop a supraventricular tachycardia when the signal begins somewhere in the atria other than the SA node. This abnormal signal fires quickly, causing your rapid heartbeat.
There are several types of supraventricular tachycardia, and these are two examples:
AVNRT is the most common supraventricular tachycardia in adults. It can develop at any age, but it’s typically diagnosed in young adulthood.
AVRT is the most common heart arrhythmia diagnosed in infants and children. Children with AVRT are born with an extra electrical connection between the upper and lower chambers.
Supraventricular tachycardia typically causes:
Your symptoms may last a few seconds or several hours.
Your doctor at Naples Heart Rhythm Specialists, P.A., performs diagnostic testing as needed to verify your diagnosis. This could include an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, electrophysiology studies, or wearing a Holter monitor to record your heart activity over a day or longer.
Treatment for supraventricular tachycardia may begin with vagal maneuvers to quickly slow down your heartbeat. If your symptoms are severe or maneuvers don’t help, your initial treatment may require electrocardioversion, which uses electric shocks to restore a normal rhythm.
Longer-term treatment includes medications to stop supraventricular tachycardia. Your doctor at Naples Heart Rhythm Specialists, P.A., may also recommend radiofrequency ablation. During this procedure, the precise area initiating the electrical impulse is identified, then radiofrequency energy is used to cauterize the area and stop the signal.
As soon as you detect an irregularly fast heartbeat, call Naples Heart Rhythm Specialists, P.A., or schedule an appointment online.