Author(s): Fox DJ, Tischenko A, Krahn AD, Skanes AC, Gula LJ
Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) includes all forms of tachycardia that either arise above the bifurcation of the bundle of His or that have mechanisms dependent on the bundle of His. We conducted a review of the techniques used to differentiate the mechanisms of SVT. We searched the PubMed and MEDLINE databases for English-language literature published from 1970 to 2008. Articles were selected for either their historical importance or up-to-date clinical data. This review focuses on techniques for scrutinizing electrocardiograms of patients, analyzing in particular the onset of tachycardia, the mode of tachycardia termination, and the effects of premature ventricular contractions, premature atrial contractions, and aberrancy during tachycardia. Both short-term and long-term management of SVT are examined, including the urgent treatment of patients in the emergency department. This review also describes management of patients who have ongoing symptomatic SVT, outlining such available treatment options as atrioventricular node-blocking drugs, antiarrhythmic drugs, and catheter ablation.