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Sporadic bouts of rapid and irregular heart beats, suspicion of supra-ventricular tachycardia. What does it mean?

I have a question about what is supraventricular tachycardia . I get sporadic bouts of my heart beating very fast and very irregularly. Usually feels like the sound of corn popping. Last time I had a serious bout it started with almost fainting , and wheezing like there was fluid deep in my lungs. I had to crawl to my supervisor s desk in the next cubicle to get her to call 911; I couldn t get up off the floor. I usually can t when this happens, and I usually have trouble breathing as well. Recently I caught it with a stethoscope, and I heard, duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH... TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH duh-TUH..... There are two distinct rhythms here. They kept switching back and forth. Both rhythms were completely regular. The TUH-TUH-TUH was at the same rate as duh TUH duh TUH - just TUHS where duhs should be, no duhs. Kept switching quite abruptly back at forth and the overall rate never changed. After a couple of minutes of it it returned to normal. Today I saw a cardiologist . Of course a stress test and a holter monitor found nothing. When I described the above, he said it is supraventricular tachycardia. He said that sometimes the ventricles just take off at a rapid pace all by themselves. He thinks I could also have atrial fibrillation but if it happens this sporadically there s a bat s chance in hell of ever catching it in the act. I expected to learn more when I researched it, but instead I learn that supraventricular tachycardia is just a rapid heartbeat. If my ventricles were just taking off all by themselves that would be called something different, and it would also have the doctor far more worried about it than he is. Doesn t make a whole lot of sense; what would be the difference between supraventricular tachycardia and tachycardia? Did they invent the word supraventricular just to soothe hypochondriacs? He s doing an echocardiogram to make sure my atria aren t enlarged. If not that s it. Attacks most often happen during exercise or fast paced and physically demanding physical work. Occasionally they re provoked by caffeine or asthma medicine. Sometimes I have alot of them and sometimes I don t have any for long periods of time. Can anyone shed light? What specifically does he mean by supraventricular tachycardia?
Asked On : Fri, 18 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  148
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Hi friend,
Welcome to Health Care Magic

     There are 4 chambers in the heart – upper (Atrium) and lower (Ventricle) / right and left.
     A rate of 100 and above is tachycardia.
If the origin is from upper chambers, it is Supra Ventricular Tachycardia.
If from lower chambers, it is ventricular (serious) / in between is Junctional.

     If there are no clues and if the problem is still bothering to the extent of interfering with life style, there are advanced techniques of investigations of increasing complexity – Electro Physiological Studies (EPS) > it resembles angio – a catheter is put inside the heart / electrical activity recorded / stimulation and suppression tests are carried out / suitable medicine tested and so on. Though the test is the gold standard, it is INVASIVE and has a risk (though minimal) and is not generally done unless there are compelling indications. This super-speciality expert is called ELECTRO-PHYSIOLOGIST. The treating doctor may suggest them depending on need, based on his assessment of the situation.

Take care
Wishing speedy recovery
God bless
Answered: Wed, 23 Jan 2013
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