Supraventricular Tachycardia

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Tired, out of breath, feeling like your heart is "off" – these could be signs of supraventricular tachycardia (svt). It's a type of uneven heartbeat (arrhythmia). You probably have questions about your heart health. You might even wonder if you're headed for a heart attack or cardiac arrest. 

At UVA Health, we can answer those questions. Our arrhythmia care was the first of its kind in Virginia. We offer a range of advanced treatments you can't get elsewhere. And, we've been nationally recognized and received several awards for our heart care. Becker’s Hospital Review named UVA Health’s Heart & Vascular Center to its 2023 list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs.

See other awards and recognition for our heart care.

Supraventricular Tachycardia Treatment at UVA Health

Our heart rhythm program offers personalized care from our deeply experienced team using state-of-the-art equipment. We offer several options for supraventricular tachycardia treatment.


Options include beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers or other drugs that lower your heart rate.  


Cardioversion is a very effective treatment. It uses a defibrillator to give you an electric shock. That make your heart go back to a normal rhythm. 

Catheter Ablation

During ablation, doctors guide a small tube, called a catheter, into your heart. The catheter destroys (ablates) a tiny section of your heart that's causing the rhythm problem. This procedure doesn't affect your heart's ability to pump blood.

Sharon Flynn in her ski outfit after getting supraventricular tachycardia treatment

Sharon's SVT Story

On Christmas Day, Sharon Flynn fainted at a friend's house. Her symptoms were caused by supraventricular tachycardia. Her heart was beating too fast. Treating her tachycardia at UVA Health got her back on the slopes.

Read About Sharon's SVT

What is Supraventricular Tachycardia?

SVT is when the upper parts of your heart don't beat in the normal way. It's an electrical problem. Your heart beats too fast.

Types of supraventricular tachycardia include:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • AV nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT)
  • Atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT)
  • Atrial tachycardia

Supraventricular tachycardia is less serious than ventricular tachycardia. But it's a problem if it happens a lot or if you have symptoms like:

  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain