Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, an extra electrical pathway between your heart’s upper and lower chambers causes a rapid heartbeat. This condition that occurs at birth, is uncommon.
Sudden heartbeats generally don’t cause any serious harm however serious heart problems could be a possibility. Treatment options can prevent or stop instances of rapid heartbeats. An ablation procedure using a catheter (ablation) can be permanent in resolving heart rhythm issues.
The majority of people who have an extra electrical pathway do not have a fast heartbeat. This condition, called the Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPS) pattern, is discovered by chance during a heart exam.
Anybody, including babies, may experience the signs of WPW syndrome, which is caused by changes in the heart rhythm.
Common signs of Wolff-Parkinson-white syndrome include:
- A quick, fluttering or heartbeat that is pounding (palpitations)
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Breathing shortness
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
A rapid heartbeat could begin abruptly and last for just a few seconds or for several hours. These episodes may occur in the course of exercise or during rest. Other stimulants, like caffeine and alcohol, can trigger symptoms in some individuals.
Infants and children are prone to symptoms.
Baby signs and symptoms with WPW The symptoms can include:
- Blueish or grayish (ashen) Skin color
- Refusal or irritation
- Rapid breathing
- Unhealthy eating
When is the best time to visit a doctor?
Many conditions can cause an irregular rhythm in the heart (arrhythmia). It’s crucial to seek the right diagnosis and treatment. Consult your physician if you or your child exhibits symptoms of WPW syndrome.
Contact your provider or go to a nearby emergency if suffering from any of the following symptoms that last more than a few minutes
- Heartbeats that are irregular or rapid
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest pain
The additional electrical pathway that leads to the rapid heartbeat occurs from birth. A genetic defect is responsible for the condition in only a tiny percentage of patients suffering from WPW syndrome. The disorder is also linked to certain forms of congenital heart diseases, for example, Ebstein anomalies.
In other words, we know very little about how the additional pathway is created.
The normal heart electrical system
Your heart is composed of four chambers: two chambers in the upper (atria) as well as two chambers in the lower (ventricles). The heart’s rhythm is controlled by a large mass of tissues in the right atrium (sinus node). The sinus node generates electrical impulses, also known as signals, which cause every heartbeat.
The electrical signals travel through the atria, creating muscles to contract, which then pump blood into the ventricles. The signals are then received by the atrioventricular node, which is also known as an Atrioventricular (AV) node, which is generally the only route for signals to move between the atria and the ventricles. The AV The node slows down the electrical signal before it is sent through the ventricles.
The delay is just enough to allow the ventricles to fill up with blood. When electrical signals are received by those ventricles and muscles contract, they send fluid to the lung and the rest of the body.
Affects the electrical system of WPW in a way that is not normal
In WPW syndrome, an additional electrical pathway joins ventricles and atria, permitting electrical impulses to escape the AV node. This detour triggers the ventricles too late.
The extra pathway could also send electrical impulses from ventricles to the Atria, causing disruption to the coordination of electrical signals in the heart, causing variations in the heart’s rhythm.
The most commonly occurring arrhythmia that is related to WPW Syndrome is also known as paroxysmal supraventricular Tachycardia. People with WPW Syndrome sufferers have an irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation.
For many people, WPW syndrome doesn’t cause serious problems. However, complications could develop. It’s sometimes difficult to predict the risk of having serious heart circumstances. If WPW The condition is not treated — especially if you suffer from other heart issues you may be suffering from:
- Fainting spells
- Fast heartbeats
- Rarely, sudden cardiac arrest
Your physician will most likely suggest tests to determine the cause of your condition. WPW syndrome, including:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). Small sensors that are attached to your arms and chest capture electrical signals as they move across your heart. A typical finding for WPW is the delta wave¹ on EKG. Your doctor may be able to spot patterns in these signals that could indicate an additional electrical path in your heart.
- Holter monitor. A Holter monitor can be a portable ECG The device you have at home is one that you wear at home when you’re not in your doctor’s appointment. The device monitors the heart’s activity as you go about your daily tasks for the duration of one or two days. An event recorder can monitor the heart’s activity when it is beating too quickly. Certain personal devices, including smartwatches, can provide ECG monitoring. Consult your physician whether it is a possibility for you.
- Tests for electrophysiology. Thin, flexible tubes (catheters) equipped with electrodes are passed through the blood vessels of your body to various locations within your heart. The electrodes track the distribution of electrical impulses that occur during every heartbeat. They also pinpoint an additional electrical pathway.
The treatment you receive is based on a variety of aspects, such as the intensity and frequency of your symptoms, as well as what kind of arrhythmia you are suffering from.
If you are suffering from the WPW If you’re not experiencing symptoms, you’re likely not to require treatment. In the event that you need treatment, your aim of treatment is to slow the speed of your heart whenever it happens and to stop future episodes from occurring.
Treatment choices comprise:
- Vagal movements. These simple physical actions — such as coughing, rolling down like you’re experiencing an abdominal movement, and placing an ice pack over your face — can affect the nerve that regulates the heartbeat (vagus nerve). Your doctor might recommend that you practice vagal movements to slow down a fast heartbeat that occurs.
- Medical Treatments. If vagal maneuvers can’t stop the rapid heartbeat it could be time to consider injections of an anti-arrhythmic medicine. Your physician may also suggest the use of medication to slow the rate of heartbeat.
- Cardioversion. Paddles or patches on your chest may electronically shock your heart and assist in restoring a normal rhythm. The use of cardioversion is often when medications and maneuvers don’t work.
- Radiofrequency catheter ablation. Flexible, thin tubing (catheters) are passed through blood vessels and into the heart. The electrodes at the tips of the catheter are heated to eliminate (ablate) the additional electrical pathway that is causing the problem. Radiofrequency ablation permanently fixes the heart-rhythm disorders in most patients who suffer from WPW syndrome.
For more information
For more information about WPW, please see your physician.