Types of Supraventricular Tachycardia - Topic Overview
Atrial tachycardia is a type of
fast heart rate caused by rapid electrical signals that begin in the upper
chambers of the heart. As a result, the heart can sometimes beat very
Multifocal (chaotic) atrial tachycardia
Multifocal (chaotic) atrial
tachycardia is an abnormal, rapid rhythm that occurs most commonly in older people who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and heart failure.
rhythm, three or more different areas of the atrium initiate extra heartbeats.
It is somewhat similar to having several different kinds of premature atrial
contractions (PACs) occurring in the same person. These different areas of
electrical activity can be seen on an
electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) and are used as the
criteria for diagnosing this arrhythmia. People with this arrhythmia frequently
complain of palpitations.
On EKG, multifocal atrial tachycardia
may appear similar to atrial fibrillation. But it is a distinct condition. The
problem with this rhythm is that it causes a persistently fast heart rate that
may be difficult to control. If a lung disease is causing this rhythm problem, treating the lung disease might also control the rhythm problem.
Junctional tachycardia is a
rare fast heart rate that starts in the area between the upper and lower
chambers of the heart. This rhythm frequently affects adults who have heart
disease and children who have had heart surgery.
Normal sinus tachycardia. Sinus tachycardia is present when
a person's heart rate is over 100 beats per minute. This is normal if there is a clear reason
for the fast heart rate, such as exercise, pain, or fever. With sinus tachycardia, the electrical system
of the heart is working normally.
Abnormal (inappropriate) sinus
tachycardia. Sinus tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute) is not normal if there is
no apparent cause. In this rare condition, the electrical system of the
heart is working normally.
People with inappropriate sinus
tachycardia typically don't have any heart disease. Inappropriate sinus
tachycardia with no heart disease may mean your
autonomic nervous system isn't working right.