Supraventricular Tachycardia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Supraventricular tachycardia occurs when the heart beats in an irregular rhythm due to irregular signals in the lower chambers. Electrical signals help regulate heartbeats. When they become mixed up, the heart may be faster or slower than normal as a result. Supraventricular tachycardia may only last for a few seconds, or it may last longer and cause some serious symptoms. In rare and serious cases, the heart can stop beating because of it. It is important to see a doctor to find the cause of the supraventricular tachycardia and get proper treatment.

Supraventricular Tachycardia Causes

The cause of supraventricular tachycardia can vary. Sometimes, it is caused by something simple or there are no known causes. Other times, it can be a sign of a serious heart defect or health problem. It is important to find the cause, so doctors can find a proper treatment. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Lack of oxygen to the heart
  • Abnormal electrical pathways in the heart
  • Structural heart disease
  • Medication side effects
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Abuse of drugs
  • Imbalance of electrolytes
  • Medication side effects

Supraventricular Tachycardia Symptoms 

The symptoms of supraventricular tachycardia can vary from person to person. Some people experience very mild symptoms, while others experience more severe ones. Some people don’t experience any symptoms and do not realize there is a problem until they diagnosed with the condition. Some of the most common symptoms that patients experience include:

Supraventricular Tachycardia Diagnosis

When doctors diagnose supraventricular tachycardia, it is also important for them to diagnose the cause of it. While it may just be a minor problem, it can also be a sign of something more serious. Doctors use a variety of tests and exams to help them diagnose supraventricular tachycardia. Some of the most common tests used include:

  • ECG
  • Cardia imaging
  • Stress test
  • Electrophysiological test

Supraventricular Tachycardia Treatment

If the supraventricular tachycardia is not serious and does not occur often, it may not need treatment. If the doctors determine that the cause of the supraventricular tachycardia is serious, a more aggressive treatment may be necessary. Some of the most common treatments for the disorder include:

Supraventricular Tachycardia Prognosis

The prognosis for people who suffer from supraventricular tachycardia usually is good. In most cases, there is a simple reason for it and no treatment is required. Just because a person experiences supraventricular tachycardia once time does not mean it will happen again. In some cases, the cause of supraventricular tachycardia is more serious and can even be life threatening. It is important for anyone who experiences supraventricular tachycardia to see a doctor to rule out a serious heart defect or disease. People who receive proper treatment or surgery for the problem can recover in a few months and can go on to live normal lives. In rare cases, if left untreated, supraventricular tachycardia and its underlying causes can lead to death.


American Heart Association