Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

Your Path

  • Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)


  • Atrial flutter
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • AV nodal re-entrant tachycardia
  • Wolf-Parkinson-White (bypass tract)
  • Multifocal atrial tachycardia (MAT)
  • POTS (positional orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)

Risk Factors

  • A fib: HTN, heart failure, OSA, sympathetic activity (stress from infection, withdrawal, drug use, hyperthyroidism, PE, post-op stress, severe pain, hypoxemia, pheochromocytoma, other)
  • A flutter: similar to a fib
  • MAT: typically underlying lung disease (eg severe copd)


  • Typical symptoms are palpitations or sense that heart is racing
  • May have SOB, DOE, light headedness - depending on duration, LV function - can lead to heart failure if ventricular response left fast (ie persistently > 100) over weeks to months
  • Fatigue related to decreased exercise tolerance or CHF
  • SVTs do NOT typically cause syncope, unless very fast (as with WPW) or coupled with another condition (e.g. hypovolemia, depressed left ventricular function)

Physical Exam Findings

  • Elevated HR (> 100)
  • If a fib, irregularly irregular
  • May have findings of heart failure (elevated jvp, pulmonary edema, lower extremity edema)