• Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

    Normally, the heart's electrical system precisely controls the rhythm and rate at which the heart beats. In supraventricular tachycardia, abnormal electrical connections (or abnormal firing of the connections) cause the heart to beat too fast. Typically, during supraventricular tachycardia episodes, the heart speeds up to rates of 150 to 200 beats per minute and occasionally as high as 300. Most often the heart may return to a normal rate (60 to 100 beats per minute) on its own. Sometimes medical treatment may be needed and occasionally urgent medical treatment is required.

    Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an abnormal fast heart rhythm that starts in the upper chambers, or the atria, of the heart. ("Supraventricular" means above the ventricles, "tachy" means fast, and "cardia" means heart.)

    Treatment for SVT includes catheter ablation, which is usually done during an electrophysiology (EP) study. The most common type of catheter ablation uses radio waves (radiofrequency energy). These waves are directed through the catheter tip to the specific heart tissue that is generating abnormal electrical impulses. The radio waves cause the target area of the heart muscle to be heated and selectively destroyed, eliminating the SVT.