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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Diagnosed with SVT & Ectopic Beats

 Joesy - Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:20 pm


I'm 26, female, 117 pounds, 5'3, smoke, drink, live in Australia, no family history of heart problems, unless a great grandparent is included (which she was in her 60's by that time).

Begun getting chest pains at 18, after a constant run of chest pain for a few hours on one occasion, went to the emergency room. Done an ECG. Didn;t find anything. They said sometimes young women experience chest pain under the left breast and said it was unexplained as to why.

At 23 I experienced my first onset of palpitations. I had just got out of the shower and was getting ready to go to work. The thump was so hard you could literally see my chest pounding without touching it. I felt like I was going to pass out & die.

Called an ambulance, but 20 minutes later it had stopped.(so was not caught on ECG)

6 weeks later it happened again. This time while I was at work.

Did full blood tests, holter monitor and echocardiogram. Holter monitor showed ectopic heartbeats.

Was diagnosed with Anxiety & Panic Disorder.

Was given noten, aropax, valium, xanax

Had a bad reaction to the medications, so I went off all of them, and conquered the battle of nerves naturally. (did a lot of research on anxiety &panic)

One symptom never left, and that was the palpitations. Most of the time by the time I would get to the emergency room it would stop.

But around 7 months ago, on one of the trips to the emergency room I still had the palpitations. I didn't wait around, and got my husband to drive me up there quickly.

When I got there and they put the ECG on I had a heart rate of 240bpm (wasn't doing any physical activity at the time to bring it on, nor smoking or drinking, I just coughed and that's when it started)

They got me to try some of the natural methods to stop it, but after trying them, my heart rate went to 270bpm.

Was given a shot of adensine (horrible feeling by the way) and put back on the noten. Was actually kind of a relief to get back on the noten, at least I could sleep at night without my heart thumping out of my chest.

Was then diagnosed with SVT

It's been recommended that I have the electrical studies done to eliminate it.

If I don't have the noten on time, I usually get a lot of ectopic beats & palpitations

Sorry this is so long, but wanted you to know everything.

My questions are, if you could possibly answer me, and I'd be greatly thankful

1. Everywhere I read on SVT, it says I shouldn't be experiencing it so often (I can't seem to escape the constant thumps in my chest without the medication & taking it on time) so could there be something else causing this?

2. If I do the electro studies, will it also eliminate the ectopic heart beat as well?

3. How can I tell the difference between whether it might of been anxiety or a SVT? I'm not generally an anxious person, not after the material I've read and the understanding I have on it. But I do feel anxious when I get palpitations (mostly because it feels like I'm about to pass out, my vision goes a bit funny)

4. I've also been getting chest pain, not regularly, but generally once every couple of weeks, its on the left hand side of my chest, comes on suddenly, takes my breath away and then leaves my left arm feeling dead (sort of like when you get a blood test done, and they put the band around your arm to cut/slow down your blood circulation) that type of feeling. The pain only lasts around 10 seconds, and the dead arm feeling usually lasts around 30 to 60 minutes. Could this be related to SVT? Or should it be something of concern? If so, what would your thoughts be?

Thanks in Advance
 Joesy - Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:04 am

they assumed it to be AV nodal reentrant tachycardia

I also read in another section of this forum that you recommended someone with svt to not smoke or drink alcohol & caffiene

I don't drink any caffiene whatsoever (when i had my first onset of palpatations I had been drinking a lot of red bull, and the ambo's thought that could of been a causing factor, so i stopped drinking it all together)

My doctor also recommended I reduce my smoking, and limit myself to just a couple of alcoholic beverages when i drank.

At one stage, I also gave up smoking for 6 weeks, but still experienced palpatations from as simple as walking up a set of stairs.

Also, my understanding on SVT is that there is no trigger for it?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:43 pm

User avatar Dear Joesy,

The palpitations that you are experiencing could be ectopic beats and not necessarily svts. But, a-v nodal re-entry tachycardia can be triggered by ectopic beats.

Elimination of the svts does not necessarily mean that the ectopic beats will be gone as they might be of ventricular origin.

i think if the palpitations start and then you start to be anxious, this is svt, but if you start to feel that you are anxious or panicky and then start to have the palpitations, this is a panic attack. Having the sensation that you are about to faint and having a funny vision means that most probably you have a very fast heart rate and that there is not enough blood going to your brain.

Regarding the chest pain, females of the child bearing age who don't have any major risk factors for coronary disease are naturally protected against coronary disease. You are a smoker and don't have any other major risk factors for coronary disease and your chest pain is atypical as compared to that of coronary disease, so the probability of this chest pain be due to coronary disease is very low. Unless the pain is felt while you are feeling the palpitations, most propbably it is related to the svt. i can not really tell what is the cause behind the chest pain. i would recommend that you have a neck x-ray/ct scan to make sure that there is no neck problem given the arm feeling that you get.

i suggest that you go ahead and have the electrophysiologic studies which is going to be diganostic as well as therapeutic.

Please, stop smoking once and for all. Stopping smoking for 6 weeks is not enough for its effect on the heart and vessel to wear off, it takes much longer than that. Also, please, stop drinking as well.

Going up stairs is an exercise and it is normal for the heart rate to go up during exercise.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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