Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is an abnormality of the electrical system of the heart, which transmits signals that coordinate the heartbeat. WPW syndrome and pre-excitation syndrome are other names for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Doctors usually identify it in children or young adults.

Signs and symptoms associated with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome include a fast heart rate, irregular heart rate, palpitations, dizziness, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. A characteristic pattern on an electrocardiogram (ECG) is a sign of the condition. The symptoms typically come on suddenly without warning. Caffeine, exercise, and consumption of alcohol can all be triggers that cause a racing heart in people with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

Causes of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

The cause of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is an abnormal connection within the electrical signaling system in the heart muscle.

Other wolff-parkinson-white syndrome symptoms and signs


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.