What Does SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia) Mean, And Is It Similar To Atrial Fibrillation?

Question: What does SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) mean, and is it similar to atrial fibrillation?

Answer :You know the common points about supraventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation is that they both live in the top chambers of the heart. As you may remember, the heart has four chambers, two on the bottom, two on the heart. And as well that SVT as well as the atrial fibrillation, they both occur in the top chambers. But that's also where some of the similarities end. SVT, the supraventricular tachycardia is a regular fast heart rate and what it does, it has a certain circuit along which it kind of runs around or there's more of kind of focus like a spark plug that starts up and then fires very quickly. But the result is still that the heart rate is fast and pretty regular.

Atrial fibrillation is quite different beast in this regard. Atrial fibrillation is also fast heart rate but it is irregular and also in terms of prognosis and treatment, those are quite different. The atrial fibrillation is a disease that once it comes on it often stays longer. It occurs often in the elderly and we treat it first with medications and then also have additionally ablation procedures now available. For the supraventricular tachycardias most of the time an ablation procedure is the appropriate first line measurement to treat that and we have high success rates in the mid-90s for that.

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