ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Family physicians frequently encounter patients with symptoms that could be related to cardiac arrhythmias, most commonly atrial fibrillation or supraventricular tachycardias. The initial management of atrial fibrillation includes ventricular rate control to provide adequate cardiac output. In patients with severely depressed cardiac output and recent-onset atrial fibrillation, immediate electrical cardioversion is the treatment of choice. Hemodynamically stable patients with atrial fibrillation for more than two days or for an unknown period should be assessed for the presence of atrial thrombi. If thrombi are detected on transesophageal echocardiography, anticoagulation with warfarin for a minimum of 21 days is recommended before electrical cardioversion is attempted. Patients with other supraventricular arrhythmias may be treated with adenosine, a calcium channel blocker, or a short-acting beta blocker to disrupt reentrant pathways. When initial medications are ineffective, radiofrequency ablation of ectopic sites is an increasingly popular treatment option.
Adenosine vs. Calcium Channel Blockers for Supraventricular Tachycardia - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Supraventricular arrhythmias are relatively common, often persistent, and rarely life-threatening cardiac rhythm disturbances that arise from the sinus node, atrial tissue, or junctional sites between the atria and ventricles. The term "supraventricular arrhythmia" most often is used to refer to supraventricular tachycardias and atrial flutter. The term "supraventricular tachycardia" commonly refers to atrial tachycardia, atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, and atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia, an entity that includes Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Atrial fibrillation is a distinct entity classified separately. Depending on the arrhythmia, catheter ablation is a treatment option at initial diagnosis, when symptoms develop, or if medical therapy fails. Catheter ablation of supraventricular tachycardias, atrial flutter, and atrial fibrillation offers patients high effectiveness rates, durable (and often permanent) therapeutic end points, and low complication rates. Catheter ablation effectiveness rates exceed 88 percent for atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia, and atrial flutter; are greater than 86 percent for atrial tachycardia; and range from 60 to 80 percent for atrial fibrillation. Complication rates for supraventricular tachycardias and atrial flutter ablation are 0 to 8 percent. The complication rates for atrial fibrillation ablation range from 6 to 10 percent. Complications associated with catheter ablation result from radiation exposure, vascular access (e.g., hematomas, cardiac perforation with tamponade), catheter manipulation (e.g., cardiac perforation with tamponade, thromboembolic events), or ablation energy delivery (e.g., atrioventricular nodal block).
ABSTRACT: The most common types of supraventricular tachycardia are caused by a reentry phenomenon producing accelerated heart rates. Symptoms may include palpitations (pulsation in the neck), chest pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, and dyspnea. It is unusual for supraventricular tachycardia to be caused by structurally abnormal hearts. Diagnosis is often delayed because of the misdiagnosis of anxiety or panic disorder. Patient history is important in uncovering the diagnosis, whereas the physical examination may or may not be helpful, and usually necessitates use of a Holter monitor or an event recorder to capture the arrhythmia and confirm a diagnosis. Treatment consists of short-term or as needed pharmacotherapy using calcium channel or beta blockers when vagal maneuvers fail to halt or slow the rhythm. In those who require long-term pharmacotherapy, atrioventricular nodal blocking agents or class IC or III antiarrhythmics can be used; however, these agents should generally be managed by a cardiologist. Catheter ablation is an option in patients with persistent or recurrent supraventricular tachycardia who are unable to tolerate long-term pharmacologic management. If Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is present, expedient referral to a cardiologist is warranted because ablation is a potentially curative option.