Atrioventricular Reentry Tachycardia (Wolff-Parkinson White)

Atrioventricular Reentry Tachycardia (AVRT) or Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW) is a condition in which the heart beats too fast due to abnormal, extra electrical pathways between the heart’s upper and lower chambers.

The electrical system of the heart is made up of several parts that communicate with one another to signal the heart muscle fibers when to contract. The SA node starts the signal causing the atria to contract. This signal travels through the AV node and on to the bundle of His, bundle branches causing the ventricles to contract. The flow of electrical signals is what produces a normal heartbeat.

If there’s an extra conduction pathway, the electrical signal may cause rapid heart rate (tachycardia). AVRT can be present at birth (congenital), but symptoms can appear at any time. More women than men are diagnosed with AVRT. Treatments include medications and some surgical procedures.

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