Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (cont.)

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What is the treatment for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome?

A range of treatment options is available for the management of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. In the majority of people without any symptoms, there is no need for immediate treatment. However, when or if symptoms suspicious for an episode of rapid heart rate occur, a cardiac electrophysiology study is recommended. A cardiac electrophysiology study is a minimally invasive surgical operation in which special wires inserted through the veins in the legs are used to measure electrical activity inside the heart. During this procedure, the connection can be identified, and importantly, can be eradicated, or ablated (a procedure known as ablation). A successful ablation of an extra connection can permanently treat all the symptoms of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, including the risk of sudden death. Finally, in some circumstances, eradication of the extra connection is not possible to perform safely or not desired by the patient. Medications can then be prescribed to help reduce the frequency of rapid heart rate episodes. Of note, the extra connection in the heart can be located on the left side of the heart (type B) or on the right side of the heart (type A).

What is the prognosis for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome?

The prognosis for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is excellent. Discussion with your physician can help navigate the treatment options that are available. In general, many people with the electrocardiogram findings of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome may never need any type of treatment.

Can Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome be prevented?

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome cannot be prevented, but can be treated in the vast majority of people. It is important to seek out a cardiologist or electrophysiologist if you have remaining questions or are in need of treatment.

REFERENCE:

Obeyesekere, Manoj, et al. “Risk of sudden death in Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome: how high is the risk?” Circulation 125.5 (2012): 659-660.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2013

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