Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

Premier Cardiac and Vascular

Cardiologists located in Annandale, VA & Fredericksburg, VA

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) occurs when your heart beats too fast. At Premier Cardiac and Vascular in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC, and Ashok Talreja, MD, FACC, FHRS, use innovative tools to diagnose SVT and create personalized treatment plans. Though not everyone with SVT needs treatment, an abnormal heartbeat isn’t a symptom you should ignore. Call the office or request an appointment online today.

What is supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)?

SVT is a type of arrhythmia that causes the heart to beat too fast or erratically. Normally, your heart beats 60-100 times a minute. 

If you have tachycardia, your heart beats more than 100 times a minute. Supraventricular means the abnormal heartbeat starts in the upper chambers of your heart. 

There are different types of SVT. Each type causes a fast or erratic heartbeat in slightly different ways.

What are the symptoms of SVT?

You can have SVT without experiencing any symptoms. However, if your heart beats more than 100 times a minute while at rest, you have SVT, whether the increase in rate lasts seconds or hours.

Other symptoms you may have with SVT include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

In serious cases, the fast heartbeat may lead to a heart attack. 

You may develop SVT if it runs in your family. However, lifestyle habits and health conditions may also trigger the abnormal heartbeat, such as drinking too much caffeine and smoking tobacco products. You may also develop SVT following a heart attack.

If you have SVT symptoms, schedule a consultation at Premier Cardiac and Vascular. The team can determine the type of SVT you have and create the most effective treatment plan.

What tests do I need to diagnose SVT?

Before running any tests, the team at Premier Cardiac and Vascular completes a thorough history and physical exam. They review your symptoms and personal medical and family history, and then listen to your heart.

The team completes an electrocardiogram (EKG) to evaluate your heart’s electrical activity. They may also run bloodwork and perform a chest X-ray. To confirm a diagnosis, they may have you wear a heart monitor that tracks your heartbeat over time.

They may also complete a stress test or an echocardiogram (echo).

What are the treatments for SVT?

Treatment for SVT depends on type and severity. The team at Premier Cardiac and Vascular customizes your treatment plan to match your needs. In some cases, no treatment is necessary. Or, the team may recommend reducing caffeine intake or quitting smoking.

If lifestyle changes fail to improve your SVT, the team may prescribe medications to slow your heart rate.

For people with recurring SVT, they may recommend catheter ablation, a procedure that burns or freezes the area of the heart causing the rapid heartbeat. 

To schedule your SVT consultation, call Premier Cardiac and Vascular or book online today.