Moments 'in time' are the real heartbeat of all living thing ― Khalid Masood
image by: Cardiology Cyprus
It has been some 8 months since my diagnosis of Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome... A lot has happened in this time, which have put a temporary hold on a few activities...
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is a common heart condition which affects 1 in 1000 patients. It is congenital and means that sufferers have an additional electrical pathway in the heart which can cause palpitations and erratic heartbeats.
Following my diagnosis, a daily dose of 2.5 mg Bisoprolol was prescribed to slow my heart rate down.
This was to prevent any further episodes of palpitations. I suffered from overwhelming tiredness while taking these. I most often felt the effects coming home…
I can recall a few moments during the procedure where I was aware beeping and alarms. My heartbeat fluttered on occasion. I believe they had triggered palpitations as part of the process.
Treatment can include daily medications or cardiac ablation techniques. Patients with symptomatic SVTs or patients identified with high-risk AP profiles during electrophysiological testing could be considered for ablation procedures.
Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, an extra electrical pathway between your heart's upper and lower chambers causes a rapid heartbeat. The extra pathway is present at birth and fairly rare. The episodes of fast heartbeats usually aren't life-threatening, but serious heart problems can occur. Treatment can stop or prevent episodes of fast heartbeats. A catheter-based procedure (ablation) can permanently correct the heart rhythm problems. Most people with an extra electrical pathway experience no fast heartbeat.
In many cases, episodes of abnormal heart activity associated with WPW syndrome are harmless, don't last long, and settle down on their own without treatment.
The symptoms associated with WPW syndrome vary greatly from case to case. Some individuals may not have any abnormal heartbeats or associated symptoms (asymptomatic). Although the disorder is present at birth (congenital), symptoms may not become apparent until adolescent or early adulthood.
The WPW pattern can be detected by an ECG, even while the patient is in a normal rhythm. Conduction through the accessory pathway produces a characteristic ECG pattern. A classic finding is a short PR interval (the time for conduction between atria and ventricles) and a delta wave, which reflects early conduction (preexcitation) to the ventricles through the accessory pathway.
The PR interval is short (0.12 seconds). There is a delta wave present in all leads but this is particularly well seen in leads I, II, and V1-V6. Total QRS duration is prolonged (0.14 seconds). There is a tall R wave in the right sided precordial leads and non-specific ST segment/T wave changes accompany this.
In Wolff-Parkinson-White, an accessory pathway leads to stimulation of the ventricles. The accessory pathway enables electrical conduction to bypass the AV node and stimulate the proximal ventricles prematurely (pre-excitation). This, in addition to normal electrical conduction through the AV node, leads to ‘double excitation’ of the ventricles.
Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome is a combination of the presence of a congenital accessory pathway and episodes of tachyarrhythmia.
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