Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia - Diagnosis

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How is paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) diagnosed?

The diagnosis of PSVT is based upon interpretation of the heart rate monitor and electrocardiogram. Sometimes the diagnosis is difficult because the rapid heart rate resolves before the patient presents for medical care. In these cases, where there is a recurrent pattern of palpitations, the care professional may suggest monitoring the patient's heart rate and rhythm as an outpatient. A Holter monitor is a small device that can be worn for 24 or 48 hours that records every heartbeat and may give a clue as to the underlying cause of the palpitations. A 30-day event monitor may also be considered, which gives a longer window to detect the rhythm. Again, a small monitor is worn, but with this device the patient triggers the recording when the palpitations begin. In some cases, specialized electrophysiology tests may be necessary to monitor the heart and try to reproduce abnormal rhythms.

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Comment from: Blondie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I had fast heartbeat occasionally. Sometimes I could feel my heartbeat. Twice I woke up and my bedroom was spinning excessively. I wore a 24 hour device for diagnosis of my paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.

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Comment from: megababe, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

My paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia was diagnosed via emergency room. My heart was beating so fast, I couldn't breathe. They had to give me medicine and I was immediately rushed into surgery to have an ablation. I have been symptom free for 12 years now. I no longer see a cardiologist. I was bowling, and really not exerting anything physically, but I just all of a sudden felt my heart beat faster than normal. I ended up finishing the school day, even spent a couple of hours at my grandma's before my mom realized something was wrong. I was taken to the emergency room and then the story is above. I was 16 years old and a very active young adult.

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