What are supraventricular arrhythmias?

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a very common supraventricular arrhythmia that can be cured most of the time. The expert cardiac electrophysiologists at Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute are skilled at treating challenging SVTs.

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Types of supraventricular arrhythmias

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an arrhythmia coming from the upper chambers of the heart, causing the heart to start racing around 200 beats per minute. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and light-headedness. Various types of SVT include atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT), atrioventricular reentry tachycardia (AVRT), atrial tachycardia (AT), inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST), and junctional ectopic tachycardia (JET).

  • Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT) is the most common type of supraventricular tachycardia, which is based on AV node pathways.
  • Atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT) is related to accessory pathways that are contributing to this arrhythmia.
  • Atrial tachycardia (AT) is an atrioventricular nodal-independent arrhythmia.

How do you identify supraventricular arrhythmias?

An electrophysiological procedure is performed under anesthesia, and usually takes about 2 hours. We enter through the groin and insert catheters in the heart to study the electrical system of the heart. This allows us to identify the mechanisms causing the SVT. We can then deliver radio frequency energy to eliminate the tissue causing this arrythmia.

How do you treat supraventricular arrhythmias?

Catheter ablation is the first line of treatment for these arrhythmias. They were historically treated with medication, but due to recent advancements in electrophysiology we can now offer this new treatment option that can cure the arrhythmia.

Some other arrythmias are related to post-surgical issues, such as an atrial fibrillation ablation procedure, leading to an SVT. The expert electrophysiologists at KCHRI are well-trained in routinely accessing the left side of the heart to perform a transseptal puncture.

In some conditions, such as inappropriate sinus tachycardia, we can perform a hybrid ablation procedure. Previous radiofrequency sinus node ablation had poor success rates with higher complications. New research by KCHRI electrophysiologists has shown that the hybrid procedure significantly improves heart rate, reduces complications, and reduces the need for additional surgeries.