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Our Services / Supraventricular Tachycardia

Cardiologist, Electrophysiology & Interventional Cardiology located in Ladera Ranch, CA & Irvine, CA

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Supraventricular Tachycardia

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) causes a sudden, rapid heart rate in episodes that last from seconds to hours. Without treatment, the ongoing arrhythmia may lead to heart failure. The board-certified cardiologists at Coastal Cardiology of Orange County have extensive experience diagnosing SVT and providing treatments that restore your normal heartbeat. If you notice palpitations or other symptoms, call the office in Ladera Ranch or Irvine, California, or book an appointment online today.

Supraventricular Tachycardia Q & A

What is supraventricular tachycardia?

SVT includes several types of arrhythmias that cause an abnormally fast heartbeat, originating in the heart's upper chambers. In many cases, your heart also beats irregularly.

Normally, a cluster of cells in the heart's upper right chamber send out a regular electrical pulse that triggers each heartbeat. When you have SVT, the pulse that starts your heartbeat comes from a different part of your heart.

The other area fires too rapidly, raising your heart rate well over its normal 100 beats per minute, potentially going as much as three times faster.

What symptoms occur due to supraventricular tachycardia?

The symptoms of SVT often start and stop suddenly. The rapid heartbeat may last from a few minutes to a few hours.

Common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations (fluttering or pounding in your chest)
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Pounding sensation in your neck
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue

These same symptoms occur in many types of heart disease. It's important to schedule an evaluation to identify the cause and start the appropriate treatment.

How is supraventricular tachycardia treated?

Your provider reviews your medical history and symptoms, completes an exam, and then runs diagnostic testing. You may need blood tests to rule out medical conditions that can cause a fast heartbeat, such as hyperthyroidism or an electrolyte imbalance.

To identify a heart condition, you may also need an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram, stress test, or electrophysiology studies.

Your provider customizes your SVT treatment based on the type of SVT and the severity of your symptoms. You may need: 

Vagal maneuvers

Your provider teaches you actions you can take to stop an SVT episode.


Your provider may prescribe a fast-acting medication to take at the start of an SVT episode, as well as other long-term medications to reduce the frequency of SVT attacks. 


Cardioversion is a treatment using medication or an electric shock to restore your heart's normal rhythm.

Cardiac ablation

Cardiac ablation is a minimally invasive procedure using a catheter. Your provider guides the catheter through your blood vessels and into your heart. Then they send radiofrequency energy through the catheter, which destroys the tissues triggering the abnormal signals.

To get exceptional care for supraventricular tachycardia, call Coastal Cardiology of Orange County, or book an appointment online today.