Skip Navigation

School of Health Sciences > Practice Learning > Practice Learning Resources

Cardiology Teaching Package

A Beginners Guide to Normal Heart Function, Sinus Rhythm & Common Cardiac Arrhythmias

Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia

SVT is used to describe a rhythm where ventricular depolarisation is normal ( there is a normal QRS complex), but that the exact mechanism of dysfunction within the atria cannot be identified due to the increased rate.

Often, patients who suffer with SVT have "paroxysmal" episodes. This means that the accelerated heart rate occurs with no warning, often lasting a brief period and self-terminating. (stopping without treatment).

These patients can be admitted with this problem on more than one occasion, but on each occasion the arrhythmia has terminated prior to an ECG being performed in hospital. Eventually, it is the number of admissions that lead to doctors doing more rigorous investigations, eg. 24 hour tape.

Often, at this stage the SVT is picked up. Then it has to be identified.

  • Return to top of document
  • Previous page
  • Next page