The heart's electrical system creates the signals that tell your heart when to beat. Electrophysiology (EP) is a specialization of medicine that focuses on the electrical behavior of the heart. Electrophysiologists are trained to perform cardiac electrophysiology studies to diagnose heart rhythm problems, known as arrhythmias, as well as radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures to eliminate them.
Why Choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center?
Ohio State’s electrophysiology program is the largest program in Ohio, and one of the top three in the nation, with extensive experience in managing a wide spectrum of heart rhythm problems. The Ross Heart Hospital also has consistently been one of the largest ablation centers in the country utilizing physician experience coupled with advanced mapping and ablation technology to manage the wide spectrum of heart rhythm problems.
What is Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia?
A paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is a fast heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that occurs in the upper chambers of the heart (atria). These types of arrhythmias tend to start and stop randomly and without warning and are due to an “electrical short circuit” in the heart. There are three different types of PSVT:
AV node reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) – With this type of PSVT, an electrical short circuit forms around the AV node (the electrical bridge between the atrium (top chambers of your heart) and the ventricle (bottom chambers of your heart). This causes an extra impulse to go around the short circuit and can cause your heartbeat to increase to 120, or maybe even over 200, beats per minute. This is the most common type of PSVT.
Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) – This type of PVST is caused by an accessory pathway (AP) that individuals are born with. The AP is an abnormal muscle fiber bridge that spans across one of the heart valves and connects the bottom and top chambers of the heart. This extra pathway may cause the heart to beat too soon and too quickly.
Atrial Tachycardias – The least common type of PSVT is an atrial tachycardia. These occur when the heart’s electrical impulses come from the atrium of the heart rather than the normal pacemaker of the heart, the SA node.
Symptoms of PSVT include the sensation of a racing heart beat that starts and stops abruptly. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, chest discomfort and dizziness. If you experience a drop in your blood pressure you may lose consciousness.
Other types of supraventricular tachycardia include atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.