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Supraventricular Tachycardia - Cause

Two common types of supraventricular tachycardia—atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT) and atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT)—are caused by an abnormal electrical pathway in the heart and often occur in people who do not have any other type of heart disease. What causes this abnormal pathway might not be clear.

Some experts believe that AVRT—specifically Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome—may in some cases be inherited.

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For more information about how SVT happens, see the topic Types of Supraventricular Tachycardia.

Other types of supraventricular tachycardia may be caused by:

  • Overly high levels of the heart medicine digoxin (such as Lanoxin) or the bronchodilator theophylline .
  • Other serious health problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, pneumonia, or metabolic problems.
  • Heart surgery in the upper chambers of the heart, such as surgery for a congenital heart defect.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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