Svt was actually afib

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I posted previously about 5hr attack of svt req hospital visir last weekend and had prev bern diagnosed with svt via reveal loop implant and offered ablation.

My last attack felt totally different to usual svt attacks and incredibly erratic and kept telling a&e drs it felt different and my usual svt attacks are short but can be multiple over hours. I was told i was in svt. After 5 hrs it returned to normal. My gp received report from a&e saying svt but my reveal loop recorder has said it was 5 hr attack of afib. This would explain why i had never felt svt like this before but extremely worrying that a&e drs could not tell difference!!

My cardio has been given new info and i have been told this will change the ep study i am being listed for. I have to see my gp tomorrow about this because of the implications of having attacks of afib.

At least i myself can tell the difference as svt is a regular fast flutter in chest wheras this afib felt very erratic.

So very unerved that a&e gave wrong diagnosis and also i now have 2 heart arrythmias not 1.

Feeling scared and wondered if anyone has both.

Wondering what gp will decide to do whilst i wait for ep study etc also ablation for af is much riskier.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    While having my ablation for SVT, the doctor found 4 other arrhythmias , which included Afib. They fixed the SVT but I take medication for the others as it's hard or impossible to fix them all as the doctors have told me. 

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  • Posted

    Hi linda. Yes i believe they often find other arrythmias and rarely fix them all. I was more annoyed and horrified that a a&e dr could not tell difference on ecg between svt and a fib! The cardios sec said that the ep study i was listed for would need to be changed now they had identified a fib and cardio had previously told me ablation for arrythmias other than just svt are more risky so now even more worried.

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    • Posted

      It is more riskier, but they are done all the time. With the SVT, they work in the right side of the heart. With an ablation for Afib , they have to work in the left side of the heart, so they have to puncture a hole in the heart to go from right to left. And I was told by my doctor that an ablation for Afib is 80% effective. I'm also told that the ablation for Afib can't be fixed but can be managed. I take medication for my arrhythmias. In other words, the ablation for Afib can manage the Afib ,but not repair it. I choose to take medication. I take metoprolol. And rhythmol. I am over weight and my doctor wanted me to take a study for sleep apnea and it turned out that I have severe sleep apnea. He told me that if I get the sleep apnea under control. Then I can possibly have a lot less arrhythmias. Read about sleep apnea and arrhythmias And the correlation between them. 

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    • Posted

      Linda

      Did you know you had sleep apnea prior to the sleep study? Symptom wise

      My EP specialist wants me to do a study. I have atrial tachycardia and have tried 3 times  having an ablation

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  • Posted

    I have mixed tachycardias, including SVT and Afib. Regarding ablation, they can either do an SVT ablation (AV node) and/or an Afib ablation (pulmonary vein). The SVT ablation is less invasive so sometimes they use a two step approach. Step one to do an SVT ablation and only do the Afib ablation later if needed. The other approach is to ablate both at the same time. To make things more complicated, SVT can sometimes originate near the pulmonary vein and afib sometimes can be triggered by the AV node. If possible, speak to more than one EP because they may have different strategies. Personally, I'm just doing lifestyle modification right now but if I end up needing an ablation I will probably do the two step approach.

    Jim

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  • Posted

    Just want to add that it's not that unusual that even EPs cannot distinguish between afib and certain SVTs. I was told this by at least three EPs. And if an EP has a hard time, a cardiologist or GP doesn't stand a chance.

    Jim

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  • Posted

    Jimjames. I was wondering about this. The cardiac unit techs in pacemaker clinic who read my implanted moniter recordings seem to be the best but i remember when i gave cardio a print out of 12 lead ecg taken during a svt attack and said the hospital cardio had said this print out showed where svt was coming from saying that that wasnt quite correct as it could be coming from other areas so this must be what he meant.

    I wont be as hard on the a&e dr now!

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    • Posted

      That's right. They don't know for sure where the SVT (or even afib) is coming from until they're actually doing an ep study where they try to trigger and therefore replicate the SVT or afib. The question to ask the ep is how agressive they plan to be. In other words will they just do an SVT ablation or will they do an SVT ablation and an Afib ablation at the same time, or perhaps they will use anothe strategy but good to know in advance and possibly compare against what another ep might do.

      Jim

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  • Posted

    My cardio secretary is on hols at moment but once back i will be asking what is happening. Ny gp has written to him to ask what he wants her to do whilst waiting for ep etc. Another secretary did say my cardio could want to do svt and afib ep but i am going to try and get appt to see him first. Just need his secretary back at work! The wheels grind slowly in nhs
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  • Posted

    I dont have sleep apnea. I was tested 6 yrs ago.

    Thanks for all the info really helpful. I will contact cardio secretary next week when she is back from hol and ask exactly what he is arranging fir me and if i can see him. He is the top electrophysiologist/cardiologist and i went to him specifically because he trains american cardios over here.

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  • Posted

    Update. I am being listed as urgent for ep study/ablation although this may still be months. The cardio secretary phoned me. I think she said that svt can convert to a fib which sounds like what happened to me. A letter is on its way so will be clearer then. I am getting a call from specialist nurse so i can ask questions and be given details.
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    • Posted

      Deborah said: I think she said that svt can convert to a fib which sounds like what happened to me.

      ----------------

      Was she saying an SVT episode can turn into an afib episode or was she said an svt ablation can sometimes cause afib?

      Jim

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  • Posted

    I am sure she meant svt can turn to afib. She wasnt talking about the proceedure then. I will find out thurs when i see gp who should have full letter and i can get copy.

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  • Posted

    Found out a bit more. Svt can degenerate into a fib which is not same as primary a fib the specialist nurse said. Again i dont have the detail of this.

    I am having the ep study and if svt shows up will have svt ablation but if other arrythmias show up may need to go back for those.

    Nurse did say its possible to have svt attacks for up to 3 months after ablation even if ablation successful as it takes this long for healing which is what i have read here. She said they dont know if ablation successful till after 12 weeks.

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