Frequent but short time SVT

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Hello there,

I have had SVT attacks but was never diagnosed, as by the time i reach Hospital , SVT would have gone.

Now recently i experienced 2 SVT attacks in 15 days but they lasted for less than 1 minute. does anyone also exp the same ? short time SVT's ? Are these considered dangerous ?.

I am 32 and hate to have this disease.

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  • Posted

    I have very brief SVTs now (I do take Bisoprolol but don't know if this makes any difference). I've only had two lengthy episodes many years ago. My current blips are always linked to my having gas in my stomach and if I can burp the SVT stops. Apparently the general feeling amongst the medical profession is that SVTs are not life threatening - it's just an electrical malfunction. However if you are worried get checked out. I had my first about 22 years ago and I'm still here. I

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda, how long have you been taking Bisoprolol and do you take it every day? What are the side effects like and if you don't know if it's making a difference have you considered not taking it? I recently started the FODMAP diet which some think helps with arrythmias. If your attacks are associated with your stomach, you might consider looking into it. How "brief" are your attacks, how high does your HR go up, and how do you get out of these attacks? Ever end up in the ER? I've been getting 2-3 attacks a week for a few months now and it's not a lot of fun. The past week or so no attacks so I'm crossing my fingers. HR sometimes goes up to 200.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Hello Linda ,

      Thanks for the reply, i did visited the doctors and have done every tests, multiple times EKG, stress echo, CT scan and everything keep out clean, i would still try to avoid taking any medications for now, as it doesn't stops me doing my daily tasks and it mostly happens when i get anxious, anxiety is driving  SVT in my situation.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jim

      I have been taking Bisoprolol for about 2 yrs now.  Before that I took Sotolol for perhaps 25+ years  after I suddenly developed SVT with an hour long episode.  2 years ago I started to feel a bit unwell (giddy, faint) and saw a cardiologist who prescribed 2.5 mg Bisoprolol once a day, which he preferred over Sotolol which my GP said is considered a "dirty" drug.  I had various tests (angiogram, CT angiogram) but nothing particularly untoward was found.   After starting the Bisoprolol I felt worse and my GP upped to dose to 5 mg a day - big mistake - I think she should have lowered the dose to 1.25 mg.  In any case after reading all sorts of adverse comments about Bisoprolol I have weaned myself off to 2.5 mg a day (haven't told any medics) and seem to be ok.  I don't know if I suffer side effects now because I am nearly 72, overweight, tired and have osteoarthritis so aches and pains could could come from anywhere.  I do not want to stop the beta blocker because it keeps  my blood pressure okay, I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks (these do not cause me SVT) and I also get migraine but now it's just the aura not an actual splitting headache.  Whether the beta blocker is helping with all these things I do not know but I am not going to stop taking it.  I am not going to turn into a spring chicken now and I just hope for the best.  I have no idea how high my HR goes during an episode - I think some may happen whilst asleep - but I rarely get one while awake and usually it is brief and as I say associated with gas in my stomach.  The latter causes the stomach to press on the heart which upsets it.  I take an indigestion remedy, breathe slowly and deeply, always go to sleep on my right side so my stomach is not pressing on my heart, and if necessary slowly stroke the carotid artery in my neck to slow the heart rate down but don't do this for too long.  Cardiologists and GPs in the UK are not interested in pursuing vague feelings - if they can see a blockage or narrowing arteries you might get something done about it otherwise you're on your own.  I've only ever had (as far as I know) two x hour long episodes (years ago) and they would have stopped before I got to the emergency clinic.  I only got the original diagnosis by chance after wearing a 24 hour tape (suggested by the cardiologist at the time as an after thought when nothing else could be found wrong) which recorded an episode in the middle of the night.  If the diet you are following reduces gas in the stomach you may find it helps.  Otherwise just remember SVT is not life threatening (as long as you've had a proper diagnosis) just frightening which I do know is bad enough.  Good luck. Linda

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    • Posted

      Hi bhrt

      I am  not a medic but I really don't think SVT is caused by anxiety attacks.  The normal fast beating of the heart if you are anxious is to prepare you to fight or flight (I think adrenaline kicks in).  SVT as I understand it is caused by a surge in electrical activity in the heart and no-body seems to know why - just that it is not life threatening.  If you suffer badly with anxiety you might benefit from CBT or even some medication for a short while.  Good luck Linda

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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda,

      My episodes are usually 6-10 minutes but even those short episodes wipe me out for a day or two. If it was only a couple of times a year, no problem but I was getting 2-4 episodes a week. Right now I've been episode clear for two weeks so if that keeps up, great. If not, I'm looking into ablation. I also think food is a trigger and started the FODMAP diet which seems to be helping. Also, I am only eating two meals a day with an 18 hour window between dinner and breakfast. I tried the recommended multiple small meals, but I think this regimen gives my digestive system a good 18 rest as opposed to working on and off all the time. I do disagree alittle with your comments on anxiety. I do think stress and anxiety can be an SVT trigger just like food.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      I can assure you anxiety can definitely cause SVT! In fact during an ablation they dose you with isoprenaline (essentially same effect on the body as adrenaline) to invoke your arrhythmia. Not all forms of SVT are sensitive to adrenaline but many are (hence why beta blockers are often effective). I can say without a doubt when you have a panic attack and the adrenaline surges through your body it absolutely can trigger an SVT episode, it has happened to me on several occasions. 
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    • Posted

      All I can say is that my panic attacks do not bring on SVTs but perhaps that means the beta blocker is working! although at the risk of my repeating myself I do get shortlived SVTs caused by indigestion and the vagus nerve being irritated.
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  • Posted

    Hi. Yes, I've had SVT attacks which last generally 5-10 minutes but some have been as short as a minute, and the other day I caught a spike on my Polar HR monitor to 160 bpm (probably SVT) that lasted only a second. My suggestion is to get a Kardia Mobile or a Kardia Band. These handy devices allow you take your ekg in conjuction with an Iphone or Android phone. Takes only 30 seconds so you will be able to catch and document the event because as you found out by the time you get to the ER it may be gone. By documenting the event they will take you more seriously plus know exactly what it is. The Kardia Mobille  costs $99 and the Band costs $200. You need an Apple Watch to use the Kardia Band but the Kardia Mobile works just with an Iphone. A very good investment for someone like yourself.

    In and of themselves SVT's are not dangerous so it really comes down to a lifestyle choice. Once they start effecting your life in significant ways then it's time to take action. SVT ablation has very high success rates and you will have to go to an EP (electrophisiologist) for that. I am now trying lifestyle modifications but if they don't work I will probably get an SVT ablation in the fall. There are also drugs you can take but they often come with side effects. At your age, if they don't go away, and if it affects your lifestyle, SVT ablation makes the most sense.

    Jim

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    • Posted

      Hello Jim,

      THanks for the reply, i would rather go for "sanket"it can be operated as single or 12 led ECG.

      i see that its developed in india by a doctor and showing good results, whereas kardia is single led ecg.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the info on "sanket". Never heard of it. This new devices keep coming and coming!

      I looked at the videos and only saw three lead positions but it looked like you could only take a one lead ecg at a time so calling it a "12 lead ecg" is not really correct.  BTW you can do a Lead II ecg with Kardia but not at the same time as you do Lead II but Kardia does not claim "2 lead ecg's" beause each ecg is a single lead like sanket apparently is. I just wonder how practical in use (versus theoretical) the "12 lead" claim is for Sanket of if it's more of a marketing thing.

      If you do get it, let us know both how it works and what your ep thinks of the ecg quality. Kardia has been already battle tested and the ep's I've spoken to say the quality of the ecg's is better than the event monitors they give patients to take home.

      Jim

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  • Posted

    I only had SVT episodes under a minute for a long time, never went longer. then one day at the gym it kicked in and next thing I know I am getting adenosine at the ER. Just had a ablation it will be a month Friday. My EP doc told me to just keep on living when I was only getting short episodes but as soon as I got the long one she said lets ablate.
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  • Posted

    Since my ablation this is what I experience. I had my first SVT episode maybe 4 years ago and was put on metoprolol at the time. That episode lasted maybe 20 minutes. On the metoprolol I had no major episodes though I would get some occasional short 5-10 second runs. The only other sustained episode I had was foolishly trying marijuana after it was legalized here (learned the hard way, marijuana + SVT = BAD). But generally I went 3 years doing ok with no major episodes. Then I went off the metoprolol for a stress test and went into SVT during with a rate of around 200 bpm. They sent me to the EP after that and despite the fact that I was well controlled with metoprolol I decided to do the ablation in the hopes of being able to stop meds and no longer having to worry about when it might get worse. 

    Post ablation I had no real problems for a while, until about 6 months after. I began having frequent episodes, for 2-3 days in a row, repeating every few weeks. Almost all episodes were 5 minutes or less and were at a much lower rate around 145 bpm. This has continued on for the past 6 months, I generally have 1 or 2 episodes a week now. They are almost always after 8pm at night, and they are pretty short. I tend to get like 20 seconds of SVT followed by 10 seconds of sinus then 30 seconds of SVT and 5 seconds sinus, etc etc, during these 5 minute episodes. I can end them quicker by sitting or laying down for a few minutes. I don't know if they are shorter and at a slower rate due to the metoprolol or the ablation. I am scheduled to go to see a more experienced EP in september (currently we only have one practicing EP in the city after the other guy left so I have to wait a while). 

    But fear not, they are not dangerous. You may want to ask your doctor about a cardiac event monitor. They generally give them out for 30 days but they can do longer if your arrythmia is infrequent. You could also purchase a Kardia monitor (about $100) to record these at home on your phone, I use this to keep track of my episodes and it works quite well. 

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