Supraventricular Tachycardia

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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

SVT isn’t usually life threatening, but it can cause troubling symptoms or worsen heart function if it's prolonged. You may have episodes severe enough for a trip to the emergency room.

Abnormal heart rhythms, which can cause supraventricular tachycardia, include:

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

Supraventricular Tachycardia Treatment


Options include beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers or other antiarrhythmic drugs to reduce your heart rate.  


Cardioversion is a very effective treatment that uses a defibrillator to apply an electrical current to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm. 

Catheter Ablation

During ablation, doctors use X-rays to guide a small wire called a catheter into your heart. The catheter burns, or ablates, a tiny section of heart tissue that's causing the heart rhythm problem. This procedure doesn't affect your heart's ability to function.