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Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

  • Alternative Names

    Preexcitation syndrome; WPW


    How often the rapid heart rate occurs depends on the patient. Some people with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome may have just a few episodes of rapid heart rate. Others may have the rapid heart rate once or twice a week. Sometimes there are no symptoms, and the condition is detected when a heart tests are done for another reason.

    A person with WPW syndrome may have:

    • Chest pain or chest tightness
    • Dizziness
    • Light-headedness
    • Fainting
    • Palpitations (a sensation of feeling your heart beat)
    • Shortness of breath

    Signs and tests

    An exam performed during a tachycardia episode will reveal a heart rate greater than 230 beats per minute and blood pressure that is normal or low. A normal heart rate is 60 - 100 beats per minute in adults, and under 150 beats per minute in neonates, infants, and small children.

    If the patient is currently not having tachycardia, the physical exam may be completely normal.

    A test called EPS may help identify the location of the extra electrical pathway.

    Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome may be revealed by the following tests:

    • ECG (electrocardiogram) may show an abnormality called a "delta" wave.
    • Continuous ambulatory monitoring (Holter monitor)