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11849443 tn?1441302841

supraventricular tachycardia

So for about a week I been feeling what I thought was a PAC's and still could be I guess..
I had a 24 hour heart monitor on that I returned yesterday.
I woke up to my phone ringing and the nurse from my regular physician told me the results.
She said, we got the results back and it looked like you have some SVT runs on your monitor, the Dr would like
you to have a Echo stress test and follow up with a cardiologist.

WTF WTF WTF is going on, those were my thoughts and it shot me into panic....
I had no idea what SVT was so I thought immediately I was gonna die soon.
I found out its supraventricular tachycardia and that I had a total of 160 beats on my 24 hour monitor, and one run of 16 beats.
Not sure if that is a lot or pretty normal for SVT, I was told its benign condition and there is up to
3 million cases a year and it is not LIFE THREATENING.

If this is what I have been feeling its very fast and only last 3-4 seconds usually but happens quite frequently.
Can SVT be that quit onset and off?

My Dr gave me some beta blockers to take, I have not taken them yet. 50mg of toprol (metoprolol) to take one
time daily.
I'm already taking blood pressure meds but he said to take both...WTF won't that make my BP way to low.
My normal reading is 120/65 pulse usually 59-65.
If I remember correctly my pac count was around 100 and my pvc was around 20.

All this is a lot to take in and I'm pretty scared at this point.
So here is my questions.

Who has SVT (PSVT) and how long have you had it?
Did you get ablation?
Have you tried beta blockers for it?
Did it work? How do they work?
Can I exercise with SVT?
Why did the Dr. call me so fast if its not dangerous?
Why did they set me up to have a echo stress test?
Should I be this worried?

Sorry for all this and thanks a ton for all the help, this board has already helped me a ton.

62 Responses
1807132 tn?1318743597
Usually the way they tell if it is an svt or simply sinus tachycardia is if there is a wave missing.  In regular sinus tachycardia all the proper waves are there it is just a fast beat.  Sometimes svt can mimic sinus tachycardia so doctors will usually diagnose it if they see the fast rate start and/or stop in one beat.  That is usually the best way to tell.  If it was just a tech reading it is possible that the cardiologist will change the diagnosis but for your knowledge 1% means only 1% of your beats were associated with the issue so very minimal.  For you it was less than 1% which could mean only a couple of beats.  

Also for your peace of mind my cardiologist said it is unheard of for someone to drop dead from anything in the atria.  That doesn't mean it can't happen but odds are very slim that it will.  Even afib is not an immediate threat.  The biggest threat with afib is when a person goes back into normal sinus rhythm there is a chance they may throw a clot and have issues from that.  Atrial issues generally are long term issues that threaten heart failure but usually only after an extended period of time meaning years and years with the issue if it is intermittent.  A constant rate well into the 200s is a danger if left untreated for days but in a younger heart if any of it is intermittent the heart has plenty of time to recover.  Basically the doctor told me that we really don't technically need the atria.  I am sure that was just an exaggeration but in terms of our well being they pose little threat to us when things go wrong with them unless the ventricles are involved.  But even still a lot of things have to line up for any heart rhythm issue to cause sudden death.  It is a lot rarer than you are fearing. Honestly, the stress and anxiety will do you in sooner than any heart issue so it is important you work on that.

In any event, I understand about wanting to be informed but try to use the information to look at things objectively.  I know it can be hard when you have anxiety but just try to stop the fear thought train and take deep breaths and calm yourself.  This will get easier to do the more you do it.  Take care and put some extra focus on your child and less on your heart and see if that helps.  Hang in there.  It's going to be OK.  
11849443 tn?1441302841
One other thing I'm super worried about now is heart disease.
1423357 tn?1511085442
Who has SVT (PSVT) and how long have you had it?
I had it for 54 years; from 6 to 60.

Did you get ablation?
I did.  I had it in 2010 after the BB failed miserably.  The procedure was a success, and I'm free after a lifetime of it.

Have you tried beta blockers for it?
Yes, towards the end.  I was un-medicated most of my life because I was involved in a couple of amateur sports that if it took it, I could not compete at the level I was at in each sport.  In my 50's, I retired from active competition, and started Metoprolol.  I started at 50mg./day, and went as high as 200mg, before settling back to 100mg.

Did it work? How do they work?
I did nothing to prevent episodes, but it did make then easier to stop.  Mine did not convert to NSR on their own.  Mine were self sustaining and would run on for hours at 240bpm. if I let them.  There are techniques that can be employed to halt events.

Can I exercise with SVT?
You sure can.  I competed in two amateur sports at a national and world levels while having SVT.  If it started up though, I was done usually for the day.

Why did the Dr. call me so fast if its not dangerous?
When I phoned my 30 day event monitor in knowing there was an SVT episode on it.  My cardiologist called me a 10pm on a Sunday evening to make sure I was OK. It was the first time it was captured since I was a child.  To me, it was just one of thousands of episodes.

Why did they set me up to have a echo stress test?
An echo stress will check for structural problems with your heart.  It's just another check on the list.  Most likely, you'll be fine.

Should I be this worried?
No.  Sorry, to say, but no.  People like Michelle Petkus and myself have had a lifetime of SVT.  You're having short runs of it.  We could have minutes, or even hours of heart rates around 240bpm.  These short runs that you're having are not a bug deal, and I wouldn't rush in yet for an electrophysiology study.  Keep an eye on it, and understand that it is not a dangerous condition.
1423357 tn?1511085442
"One other thing I'm super worried about now is heart disease...."

ABSOLUTELY NO!  This is most likely an electrical issue within the heart and is in no way heart disease.  Many professional athletes have had this problem.  At one point in my life, I had a superbly conditioned heart, yet I was experiencing extended episodes of SVT up to 3 times per month.  
1423357 tn?1511085442
....So I checked out your profile.  If you smoke, STOP!  If you're smoking, you have bigger problems than SVT....!!

If you consume coffee, tea, or colas, switch to decaf.  Caffeine is a big trigger for SVT.

AVNRT is the more common SVT followed by AVRT.
AVNRT is more common in females than in males
AVRT is more common in males than females.
1124887 tn?1313754891
That was a great answer, Tom :)

To original poster: I hope you also read my reply yesterday. Your problem is not heart disease. Your problem is an unhealthy obsession with your heart. You don't have to monitor your heart. It controls itself. An 1-minute run of SVT is not dangerous. Neither is a PAC or two. Or thousand.

Do the tests that your doctor told you to, but if everything is OK (which it probably is), then forget that you have a heart. Do you often think about your liver or kidneys? Treat the heart the same way.
11849443 tn?1441302841
I was almost completely quit before this started happening, I literally smoked 3-4 drags of a cigerette each morning a day, a pack of smokes would last me over a month....

When this hit me it put me into panic attacks and I lit back up :( still not smoking much but there are times when I can't stand all the stress I'm feeling.

I don't even notice these runs of svt, they are so fast its like a pvc.
So I don't know what I feel.

Can someone run me through how the echo stress test works?
How long it takes and each procedure please.

I really appreciate all you helping me out...

1807132 tn?1318743597
Everything Tom and Something Is Wrong said is completely accurate.  Quitting smoking was the best thing I did for my heart according to my EP, even beyond getting my svt fixed.  A stress echo is a test where you get on a tread mill and get your heart rate to a certain rate and then they look at the heart through ultra sound like they use when looking at the baby of a pregnant woman. It isn't at all invasive and it will look at how the heart responds to exercise and how well it beats in general, if there are any structural issues with the heart.  If it comes back normal, which it very well will, then you can rest assured that any svt or ectopic activity is of no concern.  When my EP called me with the results of my monitor all he said was impressive about how fast my heart would beat, it caught it at a rate of 230 bpm.  Keep us posted on the echo results.
11849443 tn?1441302841
I get the test done on the 15th, then I'm suppose to see a cardiologist on the 17th to discuss the results.

Its been nerve racking...

SO so worried that they will find some problem like structure damage or some sort of heart disease :(
1124887 tn?1313754891
I would say that most people who have some PACs and anxiety will have some brief SVT runs on occation. PACs are often clustering up in runs. An irritable focus will fire extra impulses, and whether it fires one, three, ten or sixteen beats in a row is completely random.

PVCs are much less likely to be repetitive. They usually occur by other mechanisms. Brief SVT is common, brief VT is far less common for that exact reason.

I hope you will do the echo test, but I hope even more that you will learn to forget your heart/heart rhythm.

And no: 50 mg of Toprol will not lower your blood pressure dangerously.
1807132 tn?1318743597
Anything with the heart can be scary but do your best to calm yourself.  Take deep breaths and remind yourself that you are OK when you feel your emotions spiraling.  Allowing them to spiral will only lead to more stress and anxiety.  If you can distract yourself as well do that.  Odds are greatly in your favor that they will find nothing wrong so no use worrying at this point.  Slow deep breaths.  It's going to be OK.
11849443 tn?1441302841

Its so hard for me to even function thinking there is something wrong with my heart, not so much SVT but the fact that they called me right after my 24 hour monitor, which I was not expecting...

Now I'm worried they are gonna find some kind of heart disease on the echo and I know I need to chill I have been trying my best, I also have to wait until the 15th which is a pain in the *** mentally.

I did go to the gym today and have been hitting my target heart rate.
practicing for the echo-stress test.
I hope "is_somthing_wrong" is correct about SVT just coming from stress and severe anxiety, I have been having a lot of panic attacks.

One other thing is I can not for the life of me catch SVT in its act, I have a pulse oximeter and the highest I have gotten my pulse was 165 on the treadmill today at the gym, I checked my pulse on the treadmill and used my oximeter, I have also been checking my pulse constantly during the day to see if I can find it running high for no reason, all day its been in the 90's while doing stuff and in the 70's while sitting around.

I just don't get it, I have lost a lot of weight with this episode of anxiety and heart worry.
I was around 207lbs now I'm 200lbs in one week.
There goes all the muscle I been working on all year long at the gym.....
11849443 tn?1441302841
I just found out there is a few different types of SVT...WTF
Why didn't my Dr. tell me what kind I have?

Its like him telling me I have cancer then walking away...


This is the kind of stuff that pisses me off in the medical field.
Specifics always can help a person.
1423357 tn?1511085442
I tried to explained the 2 most common forms of SVT, above.

It's often difficult to determine which kind of SVT you have.  But the symptoms are the same.

Dude, you don't need to "practice" for any kind of stress test.  Have you ever taken one?  They wire you up to an EKG recorder , you step onto a treadmill and they administer the Bruce Protocol stress test.  This is a fixed series of increasingly faster speed and incline. The technician, or cardiologist will monitor the test. If you're in reasonably good shape, you may get 10-14 minutes on the treadmill.   When you reach an appropriately fast heart rate, they immediately stop the test and you will quickly hop up onto an exam table where the technician will use an ultrasonic transducer to look at your heart under stress and at a fast rate.  Much of the transducer placement will in the intercoastal muscle area.  The technician will press the transducer into your side trying to get the ultrasonic sound waves between the ribs, and through the dense muscle there.  The cardiologist, if present, my direct the tech to move the transducer about your chest.  All the while, you're panting like a dog, on your back, drenched in sweat.  That's the extent of it.

"Its like him telling me I have cancer then walking away..."

You think?   I was with my wife when they physician told her that she had breast cancer.  Trust me. It's not even close....

11849443 tn?1441302841
I didn't mean it in the cancer thing, more why can't the Dr be more specific with what is going on.
I'm not practicing for the stress test, I just want everything to come back fine.

I can barely sleep with what is going on and my anxiety is eating me.

Sorry for the cancer thing.
11849443 tn?1441302841
Do they have you hit a target heart rate when doing a Echo stress test?
995271 tn?1463924259
SVT is a blanket term for a faster heart rate coming from above the ventricles.  ummm, that's where the rate should be coming from.

I get SVT when I run, but because I'm running, it's obviously appropriate.  If they monitored me while I was running they would come back and say ITDOOD!!!  YOU HAVE SVT!!!  then I'd say "yea, I was running".  Then they'd say"OH, NEVER MIND".

Some medical people will use the term to also encompass SVT that may not be appropriate but even those knuckle-heads can't distinguish it most of the time.

Perhaps your heart rate was being measured fast when it was supposed to be fast.  

My point here is, a little bit of knowledge (I'm looking at you Anxious4ever) is a dangerous thing and it seems you're beating yourself up over it.  I've done it to myself too.  just sayin....

Go get the tests, they'll come back clean, and you will be left with your anxiety.

stop monitoring your heart.  I did this to myself.  I stopped.  I got better.  I run now, and absolutely refuse to monitor my heart rate.  It's useless knowledge.  I'm running 15 miles a week now, mid 9-min mile pace, and I got there without ever monitoring my heart.
11849443 tn?1441302841
When you run shouldn't it be sinus tachycardia and not SVT.
From what I have read SVT is when basically you just sitting in one spot
and your heart will jump from resting to say 180 for no reason, then return to a normal heart rate again, not always but that is what I have learned what SVT does.

995271 tn?1463924259
That's what I was talking about how some medical folks use the term to encompass a tach that they don't expect to see.  But it could be originating in the SA node, and still be called SVT.  There's a bunch of causes outside of this, things like absent P waves have some meaning..
11849443 tn?1441302841
I see what you are saying.

Here is my problem, I get the 24 hour monitor done I finish on Tuesday the Dr from insta-care calls me, well his nurse does at least, she says we got your test results back and it look like you had some SVT and the Dr wants to set up a echo stress test and have you follow up with a cardiologist.
Okay, I'm good with that, a bit freaked out, and wondering what the hell.
I have never had SVT or if I have I never really noticed it.
I decide to find out a bit more, I call the heart institute (my hospital) were I had the test done, they tell me they have not had the results read yet, the have by a technician but not by a cardiologist, they said my total beats were less then 1% and to not worry, what was less then 1% suppose to mean?
She then says call back on Tuesday and they should know more and that that a specialist will read it correctly....

I feel like a freaking detective trying to find out about my own HEART.

995271 tn?1463924259
When it comes to medical tests, bad news travels FAST.  no news doesn't travel at all.

I've been in your shoes, wish I could say something to ease your mind.  You're just going to have to go through the process like I did.

11849443 tn?1441302841
What do you mean?

Are you saying its bad news or good news that is traveling around...

This *****, I have never had anything like this and I'm really bad at taking bad news, not trying to sound like a puss or anything but I have been crying a few times a day.

I worry about dying, sudden death and leaving my daughter alone, not seeing her grow up, it really hurts.

That is why people like me with severe anxiety need more of a explanation when it comes to results.

Glad there was not anyone at the gym when I went, running and having a breakdown is kinda embarrassing.
11849443 tn?1441302841
Is SVT the same as say atrial fibrillation.

If I had atrial fibrillation would they be specific in calling it that or would they
just say its SVT?

I want answers, these drs act like they don't have 2 minutes to explain it to me...

Avatar universal
Just joined the post  9/4/15 I've been told the same results you can read my story (ablation) I decided to do the ablation next week after a week of stress to make a decision. Just wanted to say your not alone. I'll post again after the ablation.
Stay strong.
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