WOLFF-PARKINSON-WHITE (WPW) SYNDROME

Description

  • heart condition that causes the heart to beat abnormally fast for periods of time
  • heart develops an extra, or “aberrant,” electrical pathway.

Symptoms

In infants, the symptoms may include:

  1. severe fatigue or lethargy
  2. a loss of appetite
  3. shortness of breath
  4. rapid, visible pulsations of the chest

In children, teenagers, and adults, the symptoms may include:

  1. heart palpitations
  2. a racing heart
  3. dizziness
  4. lightheadedness
  5. fainting
  6. shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  7. anxiety
  8. panic
  9. sudden death (rarely)

Causes

  1. ventricles are activated too early (pre-excitation).
  2. Looped electrical impulses.
  3. Disorganized electrical impulses.
  4. extra electrical pathway can interfere with the normal heartbeat.

Risk factors

  • parents with WPW syndrome
  • Babies with other congenital heart defects

Diagnostic Tests

  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Electrophysiological Testing
  • blood test
  • chest X-ray

Treatments

  • surgery
  • medication
  • artificial pacemaker
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Electrical Cardioversion
  • Vagal maneuvers.

Medication

  • amiodarone
  • adenosine
  • anti-arrhythmic medication

Lifestyle Management

Avoiding the following can help you maintain a normal heartbeat:

  • pseudoephedrine, which is a nasal decongestant
  • caffeine
  • tobacco
  • alcohol