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Cardiology Arrhythmias

Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome is a heart disease that causes an increased rate of heartbeat which prolongs for a long duration. This condition is present at birth, and it is not very common.

Causes of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

An additional electrical pathway in the heart is known to be the cause of Wolff Parkinson White. Electrical signals generally pass along a specific path through the heart, which enable numerous heartbeats. As a result of this, the heart is shielded from excess or premature heartbeats.

Certain electrical signals from the heart travel along an additional channel in patients with WPW syndrome. A condition known as supraventricular tachycardia may result from this.

Occasionally the additional electrical connection may not exhibit any signs and might only be detected when an electrocardiogram (ECG) test is performed. Further testing will be performed in these situations to evaluate whether therapy is necessary.

Symptoms of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

In the course of an episode, the following symptoms may present:

  • A rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling faint or disoriented
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Extreme tiredness

Diagnosis of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

Standard ECGs are used to diagnose WPW, however in some cases, additional testing may be required. This includes:

  • Echocardiogram (ECG): This test uses sound waves to create an image of the patient’s blood flow and heartbeat.
  • Electrophysiologic testing: In order to differentiate between WPW syndrome and WPW rhythm, an EP test might be recommended. To reach various locations in the heart, one or more small, elastic catheters are directed through a blood vessel. The electrical signals of the heart are captured by detectors on the catheter edges. The doctor is able to observe how electrical impulses move through the heart with each beating using an EP test.
  • Holter monitor: In order to monitor the heart’s pulse and rhythm throughout regular operations, this mobile ECG gadget is worn for a specific period of time.

Treatment of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

WPW syndrome-related events of irregular heart activity are short and subside on their own without the need for medical intervention. Hence, if the symptoms are minor or just occasionally present, one may not need any treatment; nevertheless, you should keep having regular check-ups so that your heart can be evaluated.

Owing to the significant hazards associated with tachycardia, patients with WPW syndrome need to be treated whenever or wherever they experience an incident of tachycardia. The goal of the treatment is to end the tachycardia and prevent it from occurring again.

Stopping an episode of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

Two basic methods and therapies can aid in halting episodes when they start:

  • Vagal maneuvers: These are intended to activate the nerve that slows the heart’s electrical signals. An example is the “Valsalva manoeuvre,” which involves holding the nose, closing the lips, and breathing out
  • Cardioversion: This is a kind of electric shock treatment that restores the heart’s regular beat.

How to Prevent the Episodes from Reoccurring

There are three main ways to stop the tachycardia from returning:

  • Catheter ablation: This procedure aids in eliminating excess heart tissue that is the source of the electrical system of the heart’s problems.
  • Surgery: When catheter ablation and medication are ineffective, surgical intervention is recommended and may be preferred if the patient is having heart surgery for other reasons.
  • Medication: To reduce the speed of the heart’s electrical impulses, regular prescriptions of medication may be recommended to aid in avoiding the episodes.
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