Symptoms and Signs of SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia) vs. Heart Attack

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/1/2021

Doctor's Notes on SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia) vs. Heart Attack

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a rapid heart rate (100 beats or more per minute, but typically faster, up to 140-250 beats per minute) due to electrical impulses that originate in the upper ventricles of the heart. SVTs usually come and go quickly in a few minutes without medical treatment, though some may last a few days and may require medical intervention. A heart attack is a medical emergency, as it is a severe reduction or complete blockage of blood to one or more segments of the coronary arteries that can cause death of heart muscle.

Symptoms of SVTs and heart attacks that are similar include:

Additional symptoms of heart attacks may include:

What Is the Treatment for Supraventricular Tachycardia vs. Heart Attack?

Treatment for supraventricular tachycardia depends on the severity of the condition and may include:

  • Medications to control the heart rate or heart rhythm.
  • Physical maneuvers, drugs, or electric impulses to restore the normal heart rhythm
  • Catheter ablation, in which a thin catheter is fed into the heart through the bloodstream to create tiny scars in the area of the heart that is causing the problem.

Treatment for a heart attack may include:

  • Medications to prevent or disrupt blood clot formation
  • Medications to support the function of the heart and minimize pain
  • Cardiac catheterization to open blocked coronary arteries
  • Cardiac bypass surgery (less common)


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.