The rapid heart rate of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia usually starts and ends suddenly. It can last from a few minutes to several hours. It is felt as an uncomfortable palpitation.
Other symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Usually, the heart is otherwise normal.
Causes and Risk Factors
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia may be set off by a premature heartbeat that rapidly signals the heart to be beat. This may be caused by several abnormalities such as having:
- Abnormal rapid or circling impulses generated in the atria. This is called true paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. This is much less common that the following two abnormalities.
- An abnormal electrical pathway between the upper chambers of the heart the lower ones
- Two electrical pathways in the atrioventricular node
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is most common among young people and is more unpleasant than dangerous. It may occur during vigorous exercise.