SVT causes cardiac arrest?

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I'm in a group for SVT patients on Facebook, and yesterday 2 people said in a post that they had heart attack from an SVT episode. They both don't have any other heart issues (if the doctors are correct). Now I'm afraid because my doctors (I've been at 3 different cardiologists) said that you can't have a heart attack. Do you know something about this? Is there really a connection between the two?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Only if the episode if very prolonged or they have existing coronary artery disease.

    I have had SVT since I was a teenager and every time I go to hospital with it they do troponin levels (this is an enzyme which starts being released from heart muscle as it's being damaged) and it's always fine. Even when I had SVT for 9 hours one day (absolutely not recommended but it is what it is) So far I've survived 30 years with this condition.

    If SVT caused a significant risk of heart attack we would be made very aware of it and steps would be taken to make sure we never got SVT again. SVT is NOT a risk factor for heart attack.

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    • Posted

      Understood, thank you! I'm afraid of an episode, and after reading these two comments I became more afraid of it!

      This is a bit off topic, but does your SVT starts with a few skipped beats which are rapid? Because mine does, and few weeks ago I was totally stressed out (huge trigger for me) and I started to feel this kind of fluttering (one bigger one smaller beat) in my chest and it was rapid, but with a breathing technique I managed to calm my heart down and it didn't went into an episode (thank God). When I'm in an episode it's regular. I'm just afraid that it's afib (ekg caught my episode twice and nobody mentioned afib).

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    • Posted

      If hearing that SVT isn't a risk factor for cardiac arrest doesn't do anything to calm your fears (both from the Drs who are experts in it as well as the people who have long term experience in it) then I'm afraid nothing will. You clearly don't understand what you've read.

      Feel free to let your unnecessary anxiety ruin your life over a harmless condition. Nobody can tell you otherwise.

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    • Posted

      If you were in afib you would have been told that you were. It's not a secret the Drs would hold back from you. The ECG recording is very different between the two.

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    • Posted

      @Annie56356 Quite frankly this is a really insensitive response and doesn't help solve the problem. It is really common to experience anxiety with PSVT. That anxiety can take several forms. @Dominika90457 please consult your doctor / therapist about methods you can use to address your thought processes around this particular anxiety. It may be of benefit to go ahead and have an ablation done so the PSVT attacks stop completely. I was still somewhat anxious after my ablation as I had a lot of PVCs which are annoying but as time passed the PVCs subsided along with my anxiety.

      There are a few more things that can set your mind at rest. I'm in the States and it may be different where you are. After PSVT was diagnosed I was immediately scheduled for a Cardiac Stress test, an echocardiogram and a cardiac catheterization to check to ensure that my heart was functioning normally. That assured me that my heart was healthy and I didn't have any concerns after that that a PSVT attack would stress my heart. Hopefully this is of some help to you. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Just a note that there are very clear symptoms with Afib. My husband has Afib and when he goes out of regular rhythm he starts sweating profusely, loses all color and get very weak. His heart rate and blood pressure get very high even though normally both are in the low range. We were able to catch his second episode on a portable blood pressure machine we have at home as it will flash when the heart beat is irregular. An EKG confirmed the Afib. A doctor would not fail to mention Afib as it is much more serious than PSVT where your heart stays in regular rhythm but is just beating very fast. You also be immediately put on a blood thinner and heart medication with Afib pending an electrical conversion. My husband was hospitalized for three days each time with Afib. There would be very clear conversations about your condition and how you needed to treat future episodes. If none of these things happened you don't have Afib.

      As a side note my heart rate went up to 248 in my last PSVT attack but there was no lasting damage. I was awake the entire time and drove myself home after the adenosine.

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  • Posted

    I think it depends which form of SVT you have, what type of SVT do you have? And what type of SVT do they have?

    There will more than likely be an underlying problem as SVT isnt usually dangerous

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    • Posted

      They didn't said what kind do they have, but I was diagnosed with PSVT. It is suddenly starts (triggers are bad movements, stress, acid reflux/bloating, eating large meals). Usually I can convert myself a few minutes later, 8 years since I have SVT and 2 times visited ER. I got Verapamil injection (in my hometown they don't have Adenosine) and it helped almost immediately. Everyone told me it's just PSVT. They caught the episodes on ekg in ER, so if there would have been more to it they would've told me. Stress ekg, echo is good, no structural problems.

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    • Posted

      You've been diagnosed with PSVT. That's what kind you have. Most of us could only wish for 2 ER trips in 8 years.

      As you say if there were more to it they would have told you. So why all the anxiety?

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  • Posted

    My cardiologist had said it is not life threatening.

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  • Posted

    I have read that if you have Wolf Parkinson's White Syndrome, than that type of SVT can cause a heart attack. As of what I have been told by my doctor, other more common types are not deadly. I'll tell you what though, I have had many SVT attacks in my life and out of all of them, only 2 actually made me think I was going to have a heart attack. These 2 attacks were so bad. My heart rate moniter only goes to 300, so anything higher, it will just read error. These 2 attacks did not register on my moniter. My heart was pounding so hard and fast, much more than normally, that I was .. too scared to even move at all. I was even too scared to get in the car to drive the half an hour to the hospital because I though if we hit a bump, I would die. My heart was going so fast that I felt like I was going to pass out. I couldn't see anything except really bright flashing light. Also, my blood pressure moniter wouldn't take a reading either, same as the heart rate, it just kept reading error. These 2 attacks really had me freaked out. Those were the only 2 times and hopefully the last, that I ever thought I was going to die from a SVT attack. They can be very scary sometimes. I should also mention though, that I do not know what type of SVT attack I have. I actually bought my own hand held ekg device to get my diagnosis of SVT and it just doesn't read into that much detail of what type.

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  • Posted

    Dominika, I'm pleased to see that you've already being given some solid, rational, no nonsense advice. My summary would be that with an otherwise healthy heart, you need not worry about a heart attack. Others have told you that, and I'm telling you that, but I know from 50 years of experience that you still have to learn to believe that. I hope you can.

    I finally and almost completely did learn that, but it was extremely difficult for me to do so. I suggest that you devote at least as much effort to working on your anxieties as you do to taking care of your SVT. Please believe that many SVT patients have available to a high probability of an actual cure. Ablation has worked wonders for me, and could do so for you. I wish the very best for you.

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