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Supraventricular Tachycardia (cont.)

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT, PSVT) Symptoms

PSVT can cause a number of symptoms, depending on a person's overall health and how fast their heart is beating. People with heart damage or other coexisting medical problems experience a greater degree of discomfort and complications than those who are healthy. Some people have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms can come on suddenly and may go away by themselves; they can last a few minutes or as long as 1-2 days. The rapid beating of the heart during PSVT can make the heart a less effective pump so that the body organs do not receive enough blood to work normally. The following symptoms are typical with a rapid pulse of 140-250 beats per minute:

In infants and very young children, symptoms are sometimes difficult to discern. However, those infants with irritability, poor feeding, sweating, poor coloration of skin, and who exhibit a pulse rate of 200-250 beats per minute may have PSVT.

When to Seek Medical Care for Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT, PSVT)

PSVT is generally not life threatening unless individuals have other heart disorders. Call a health care professional if any of the following conditions occur:

  • The episode of rapid heartbeat or palpitations is the first, and the symptoms last longer than a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • The person has had previous episodes of PSVT, and the current episode does not go away with vagal maneuvers (coughing, deep breathing, or muscle tensing described below).

The person with the symptoms should not drive themselves to the hospital. Call 911 for emergency help if needed. The following conditions or symptoms warrant a visit to the nearest hospital emergency department:

  • Rapid heartbeat and feel dizzy or faint
  • Rapid heartbeat with chest pain
  • Feel short of breath with rapid heartbeat
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/17/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia »

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), a common clinical condition, is any tachyarrhythmia that requires only atrial and/or atrioventricular (AV) nodal tissue for its initiation and maintenance.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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