Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
PSVT
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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PSVT

Hello, my name is Emma. I'm 14 and i have been to the E.R 3 times with chest pains, rapid heart beat, and shortness of breath. They think i have PSVT but they arent for sure and they are taking their time to get me checked for it... Does it sound like i have it to you?
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Dear Emma,

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT, also referred to as just SVT) is a fast abnormal heart rhythm.  We absolutely do see it show up in children and teens your age.  I cannot say for sure if you have SVT or not, based on just what you have told me here.  Typically, it is associated with an acute onset of a fast heart rate of about 180 beats per minute, or faster.  It is also associated with an acute stop of the arrhythmia.  This is in distinction to patients who may have anxiety or may be dehydrated, in which their heart rate ramps up, is not as high, and ramps down.  Your primary care provider should be able to obtain a good history to determine which of these is more likely.  If the cause of this is not obvious by the history, there are special monitors, called loop recorders or event monitors, that can be ordered to assess your heart rate during these events.  These are typically ordered through a pediatric cardiologist’s office.
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Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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