Is supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) a dangerous cardiac arrhythmia?
Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a fast regular heart rhythm originating above the ventricles, usually in the atrioventricular node or in the atrium. Usually it is not fatal and can be treated in any cardiac set up by giving intravenous medications or rarely a direct current shock. Occasionally it can be terminated even without medications by simple methods like attempting to vomit. If left untreated for a long period, it can weaken the heart due to overwork (tachycardiomyopathy). Recurrence can be prevented either by long term medication or by a procedure known as radiofrequency catheter ablation. In radiofrequency catheter ablation, the source of the tachycardia is initially identified by mapping with multiple electrodes within the heart. Once the site is localised, radiofrequency energy is delivered at the site using an ablation catheter and the abnormal focus is destroyed.