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School of Medicine
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
An arrhythmia is an abnormality in the timing or pattern of the heartbeat. Arrhythmias may cause the heart to beat too rapidly, too slowly, or irregularly. They are common and may cause a wide variety of symptoms, such as a racing, skipping or fluttering sensation (called palpitations) in your chest.
Cardiac arrhythmias also may cause light-headedness, fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue or no symptoms at all. Many types of arrhythmia are merely nuisances, other types may be serious problems because they cause the patient to develop heart failure, pass out or even die suddenly when the heart beats too slowly or too rapidly to pump blood to the body.
Supraventricular tachycardia is a series of rapid heartbeats that begin in or involve the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. SVT can cause the heart to beat very rapidly or erratically. As a result, the heart may beat inefficiently, and the body may receive an inadequate blood supply. There are three major types of SVT including:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
- Atrial Flutter & Atrial Tachycardia