Supraventricular Tachycardia

Supraventricular tachycardia, or SVT, is a condition in which the heart beats too fast, which can prevent the body from getting enough blood flow. SVT begins in the upper chambers of the heart (atria), which are located above the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles), and is caused by abnormal electrical signals in the heart. SVT does not always cause problems, but in more serious cases it can result in symptoms such as light-headedness, fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. It becomes a problem when episodes are frequent, last a long time, or symptoms are present. SVT is sometimes called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) or paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT); paroxysmal means “from time to time”.

UAB Cardiovascular Institute delivers optimal patient care for heart rhythm disorders. You will be cared for by regional and world leaders in the treatment of heart arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia, and other heart rhythm abnormalities.

Our physicians evaluate the newest treatments and technologies and author professional publications that advance the field of arrhythmia treatment. Their extensive experience and academic backgrounds ensure that they are familiar with all types of heart rhythm disorders. Our academic medical center performs more than 600 heart rhythm-related procedures each year, and our success in treating all types of complex arrhythmias is well-documented. Our electrophysiologists have access to the UAB Cardiovascular Institute, one of the largest of its kind in the Southeast. It features the most advanced technology available, including four procedural suites dedicated to electrophysiology (the electrical signals in the heart). At UAB Medicine you are part of a program that carries out pioneering work in atrial fibrillation and advanced pacemaker and cardioverter defibrillator design.


Tom McElderry, M.D. | Heart Arrhythmia
Arrhythmia Risk Factors, Symptoms & Treatments

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