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Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an abnormal rapid heart rate that starts in the upper chambers, or the aria, of the heart.
SVT is also called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) or paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT).
Not all increases in heart rate are abnormal. Sometimes it is normal to have an increased heart rate, such as during exercise, with a high fever or when under stress. This fast heart rate, called sinus tachycardia, is a normal response to these stressors and is not considered a medical problem.
Types of SVT that are abnormal include:
In SVT, abnormal firing of the heart's electrical system causes the heart to beat too fast.
Some medicines can cause SVT:
In rare cases, conditions that affect the lungs such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pneumonia can also cause a type of SVT called multifocal atrial tachycardia (MAT).
The following increase your risk for SVT:
Symptoms may start and stop suddenly, and can last for a few minutes or several hours. Supraventricular tachycardia lasting more than half of the day is considered an incessant SVT.
Supraventricular Tachycardia is diagnosed during an Electrophysiology Study. During the study, an electrophysiologist will perform a minimally invasive procedure to determine where and when the signals from your heart begin.
If you do not have symptoms, SVT may not require treatment.
If symptoms occur or if you have another heart disorders, treatment may be necessary.
If SVT recurs, you may need long-term treatment, including:
Emergency treatment of SVT may include: