Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

    Supraventricular tachycardia is a generic term that refers to a fast heart rhythm (tachycardia) that originates in the upper chambers of the heart (atria). Supraventricular tachycardias come in may different flavors, but most importantly, as a group they are generally not life-threatening in and of themselves.

    SVTs do, however, often result in significant symptoms of palpitations, lightheadedness, chest discomfort, and patients may require intravenous medications to terminate the abnormally fast heart rhythm.

    Occasionally, patients find that certain maneuvers result in termination of their palpitations. These include straining, coughing, squatting, rubbing on the neck, or deep breathing. This is an important feature that you will want to be sure tell us about.

    It always helps to have an electrocardiogram (EKG) of your specific heart rhythm. If you have ever been seen in an emergency room, please try to obtain a copy of the tracing and bring it with you.