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Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

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by Rosenblum L

(WPW)

 

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. If you are having a tachyarrhythmia due to WPW syndrome, you will have normal or low blood pressure and a heart rate of 150-250 beats per minute. (A normal heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute.)
If you are not having irregular heart rhythms during the exam, the results of the exam may be normal. In either case, an electrocardiogram (a test that records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the skin) will usually show a “delta wave” that signals an extra electrical pathway.
Other tests may include:
  • Monitoring with a Holter monitor for 24-48 hours to check for any episodes of irregular heart beat.
  • Electrophysiology study , in which a catheter (a thin tube designed to be inserted into a blood vessel) is passed to the interior of the heart where it takes detailed measurements of its electrical activity. This will detect the extra pathway.
 

RESOURCES

American Heart Association
http://www.americanheart.org

Heart Rhythm Society
http://www.hrsonline.org/

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Cardiovascular Society
http://www.ccs.ca/home/index%5Fe.aspx

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
http://www.heartandstroke.com/

 

References


American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org .


Heart Center Online website. Available at: http://heart.healthcentersonline.com/ .


The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy . Simon and Schuster; 1999.

 

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