AF Association
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Is this SVT

Hi All,

My partner was diagnosed 7 years ago with WAP (Wandering Arterial pacemaker) at the age of 18, this was after extensive tests Echo, Mri, Stress Test and more carried out by top cardiologist Dr Lefroy at Hammersmith Hospital who is also specialising in heart rhythm disorders.

The reason for those extensive tests was as my partner had called an ambulance at 18 and was given GTN as they suspected heart attack, he subsequently had a massive reaction to this and it turned out he in fact had pericarditis and had to have a pericardial tap, he has since had two more bouts without medication or intervention needed, however it once les to plurisriy.

Since those tests he had palpitations most days but nothing major, Last week he had 4 ectopic beats in a row all lasting 30 seconds or longer and got really dizzy and clammy and felt like he was going to collapse. It got so bad we had to call an ambulance and they managed to capture it on the ECG on arrival which was lucky, And the ECG read (Sinus Tachycardia with aberrantly) Also known as SVT with a Heart rate of 108 Highest it got was 150 BPM.

All in all the rapid palpitations and raid heart racing lasted no longer than 15 minutes, and once we were seen in hospital his heart rate had gone back to about 70 BPM his ECG was abnormal but due to his WAP its always abnormal.

The Emergency doctor was not very clear and just said Palpitations are harmless and as it didn't last long and its his first episode it was not worth worrying about as we are due to see a cardiologist in two weeks time she just gave us the ECGs to take with us. Since then he has had a few big palpitations but nothing like the night we called an ambulance. He has also been under a lot of stress over the last few months and I felt he was consuming too much diet coke.

My question is does this sound like SVT, I mean what I am asking is can you have a one off episode of SVT and can a ECG display this result based on the episode at the time of recording etc.

I am literally like not even letting my partner stay home alone at the moment as its such a frightening experience, until we see the Cardiologist. I am worried that although he had all these tests that things can develop over the years.

I would add that my partner had some kind of stomach injury last year and suffers Acid Reflux, he is somewhat convinced this is linked to the a palpitations as he said they normally come on after a meal or first thing in the morning.

Last question is, to all those diagnosed with SVT was medication or ablation the only way or did some of you manage to control it with lifestyle changes.

5 Replies
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It would seem that the issues you are raising are slightly out of our field of expertise! An ECG will tell the trained eye a great deal and your partner's cardiologist will perhaps be the one to help you.

A pocket ECG monitor can be a handy thing to have. Many forum members use a Kardia.

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Wow I never knew such thing existed, I will certainly have a look and perhaps purchase one thanks.

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Getting a Kardia sounds a good idea to capture the abnormal rhythm

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Diet Coke isn't good for hearts. It's best to avoid aspartame, artificial sweeteners (and sugar!) and monosodium glutamate.

Also try searching on here (see the box at the top right of the screen) re Vagal nerve.

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I know I keep telling him no sweetener and Diet coke! I will have a look into your suggestion thanks for that.

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