Supraventricular tachycardia - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic
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Categories: Physiology Cardiovascular Medicine. Description The interplay between the careful analysis of clinical electrocardiograms and results from animal experiments have in the past 60 years resulted in provo- cative and brill ant concepts on the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias in man.
Many of the animal experiments however were done on open-chested dogs with cut cardiac nerves and under the influence of pharmaca. It is doubtful, therefore whether these results can be transferred without reser- vation to the human situation. The introduction of electrical stimulation of the heart in clinical cardiology has opened new ways to study some aspects of cardiac arrhythmias directly in the unaesthesized patient.
An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator ICD - a device that constantly monitors the heart rate and electrically stimulates or shocks the heart when the device detects ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation - may be required for people with ventricular arrhythmias. Surgery may also follow EP testing. For isolated or benign arrhythmias that do not present a serious danger to normal heart function, no further treatment may be necessary. Skip to main content Skip to footer.
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Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Care
Menu Search. Electrophysiology EP Tests. Referrals How do physicians refer patients? Due to the unpredictability of arrhythmias, it can be difficult for doctors to prescribe medications or surgery without actually seeing how the arrhythmia starts or behaves once it has started. In order to determine how the heart is affected by an arrhythmia, doctors may try to replicate a brief episode of the arrhythmia.
This can be done with electrical stimulation of the heart during an electrophysiology EP test.
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In addition, your cardiologist can use the electrodes to stimulate your heart to beat at rates that may trigger — or halt — an arrhythmia. This allows your doctor to see the location of the arrhythmia and what may be causing it. In catheter ablation, catheters are threaded through the blood vessels to the inner heart, and electrodes at the catheter tips map the spread of electrical impulses through the heart. Electrodes at the catheter tips transmit energy to destroy a small spot of heart tissue and create an electrical block along the pathway that's causing your arrhythmia.
Most people with supraventricular tachycardia do not require medical treatment. However, if you experience prolonged or frequent episodes, your doctor may recommend or try:. Vagal maneuvers. You may be able to stop an episode of SVT by using particular maneuvers that include holding your breath and straining, dunking your face in ice water, or coughing. These maneuvers affect the nervous system that controls your heartbeat vagus nerves , often causing your heart rate to slow.
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If you're unable to stop an episode of SVT on your own using vagal maneuvers, your doctor may use cardioversion, which can be conducted as a procedure or by using medications. In the procedure, a shock is delivered to your heart through paddles or patches on your chest. The current affects the electrical impulses in your heart and can restore a normal rhythm.
In rare instances, treatment for supraventricular tachycardia may involve use of a small, implantable device called a pacemaker to emit electrical impulses that stimulate your heart to beat at a normal rate. The pacemaker is placed under the skin near the collarbone in a minor surgical procedure.
Electrical Stimulation of the Heart in the Study and Treatment of Tachycardias
An insulated wire extends from the device to the heart, where it's permanently anchored. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. Your doctor may suggest that, in addition to other treatments, you make lifestyle changes that will keep your heart as healthy as possible. Research is ongoing regarding the effectiveness of several forms of complementary and alternative medical therapies for supraventricular tachycardia.
Some studies have shown that acupuncture may help reduce irregular heart rates in certain arrhythmias, but further research is needed.
- Electrical Stimulation of the Heart in the Study and Treatment of Tachycardia..
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The role of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient found mostly in fish, in the prevention and treatment of arrhythmias isn't yet clear. But it appears as though this substance may be helpful in preventing and treating some arrhythmias.
- Electrical stimulation of the heart in patients with ventricular tachycardia.
- Electrophysiology (EP) Tests for Heart Arrhythmias | UW Health | Madison, WI;
If you think you may have supraventricular tachycardia, make an appointment with your family doctor. If it's found early, your treatment may be easier and more effective.
Eventually, however, you may be referred to a doctor trained in heart conditions cardiologist. If you experience an episode of SVT for more than a few minutes or it's accompanied by fainting, shortness of breath or chest pain, call or your local emergency number or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency room. Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to discuss, it's a good idea to be prepared for your appointment.