Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an overall term for any fast heart rhythm that starts from above the ventricles. SVTs are often ‘paroxysmal’, which means that they come and go. SVTs are quite common but are rarely life-threatening.
SVT often comes on suddenly, with no obvious cause. Most SVTs are due to one or more extra electrical pathways between the atria and the ventricles. In people with SVTs, an extra electrical pathway can make their heart beat very fast. In most cases, there are no other heart problems.
In people who may be prone to SVTs, the SVT can be triggered by caffeine, alcohol, drugs, hormone changes in adolescence, or pregnancy.
Treatment: Different types of SVT need different treatments. People with an SVT may need one or more of the following treatments: intravenous medicine (through a vein); oral medicine (tablets); cardioversion; and/or catheter ablation.