Ultimate NEET-PG Exam Study Material

Proven Effective Content with 96% Strike Rate

The Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome

Oct 10, 2023

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome

The Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome results in a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) due to a second communication pathway between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. A congenital heart condition known as WPW syndrome affects the heart from birth. It is not particularly typical.

Fast heartbeat episodes associated with the WPW syndrome can be quite serious, even though they are normally not life-threatening. Rarely, young adults and adolescents with WPW syndrome may have sudden cardiac death.

Treatment options for WPW syndrome include specialized procedures, medications, shocks to the heart (cardioversion), and catheter surgery to stop the irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

Another name for WPW syndrome is pre-excitation syndrome.

ENT Residency

Causes Of The Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is a congenital heart condition that affects the heart. Other congenital heart conditions, such as the Ebstein abnormality, can coexist with WPW syndrome.

Rarely is WPW syndrome inherited. A characteristic of the familial or inherited type is thicker heart muscle. It serves as an example of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

It may be useful to understand how the heart beats properly in order to understand the reasons for WPW syndrome.

Symptoms Of The Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome

The most prevalent sign of Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is an elevated heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.

Tachycardia episodes might start out suddenly and last for a short while or last for several hours. Whether you're working out or just unwinding, episodes might still occur.

The fast heartbeat and underlying arrhythmia are related to other WPW syndrome signs and symptoms. Patients with WPW syndrome are most commonly affected by supraventricular tachycardia. Supraventricular tachycardia is characterized by fast, hammering heartbeat events that start suddenly and stop abruptly. Some people with WPW syndrome experience the fast and irregular heart rhythm problem known as atrial fibrillation.

In general, those who have WPW syndrome may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • A fast, fluttery, or thumping heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Pain in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shakiness or dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue and breathing issues
  • Anxiety
  • Infantile symptoms

The following signs and symptoms may appear in infants with WPW syndrome:

  • Skin color that is pale or fading
  • Skin, lips, and nails turn blue or gray as a result of cyanosis.
  • Vacillation or annoyance
  • Rapid breathing, poor eating
  • In some people with an additional electrical route, a rapid heartbeat might not be evident. Its official name is the Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) pattern. Often, it is unintentionally discovered during a heart test.

Diagnosis  Of The Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome

In order to rule out WPW syndrome if you have a rapid heartbeat, your doctor could recommend a number of tests, including:

  • ECG or EKG is the medical abbreviation for electrocardiogram: The heart's electrical activity is assessed during this brief, painless test. On the arms, legs, and even the chest, sticky patches with electrodes are applied. An electronic device attached to the electrodes displays the test findings. Any patterns in the heart's signals that point to the presence of an additional electrical route can be found by a medical specialist.
  • Timepiece by Holter: The heart's rhythm and pulse are monitored by this portable ECG gadget as the user goes about their everyday activities for at least a day.
  • Recording of the event: With the help of this wearable ECG, irregular heartbeats can be found. As soon as symptoms begin to appear, you click a button. Typically, an event recorder is worn for up to 30 days or until symptoms or an arrhythmia manifest.
  • Electrophysiology (EP) investigation: To distinguish between WPW pattern and WPW syndrome, an EP study may be advised. Fluid is transported to various areas of the heart using one or more thin, flexible tubes (catheters) using a blood vessel, typically in the groin. The electrical activity of the heart is monitored by sensors on the catheter tips. A medical expert can observe how the heart's electrical signals go through it as it beats by using EP research.

Also Read :

Proctitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and ComplicationsXerostomia (Dry Mouth): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and ComplicationsOrchitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications
Foot Drop: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment Of The Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome

The severity and recurrence of the symptoms of the Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, as well as the cardiac rhythm abnormalities (arrhythmia) producing the rapid heartbeat, will determine how the condition is treated.

The purpose of treatment is to decrease the rapid heart rate when it occurs and stop recurrence. A rapid heartbeat can be treated in the following ways:

  • Vagal procedures: Simple but effective techniques to slow heart rate include applying an ice pack to the face, coughing, bending forward as if having a bowel movement, and others. If you experience an episode of rapid heartbeat, your doctor might suggest you carry out these procedures. The vagus nerve, which controls how quickly the heart beats, is impacted by these processes.
  • Medications: If vagal methods don't work to reduce a rapid heartbeat, you could need medication to do it. It can be necessary to provide medicine via an IV.
  • Cardioversion: Electrical shocks are administered to the chest using paddles or patches to aid in restoring the heart's normal rhythm. When vagal exercises and drugs fail, cardioversion is routinely utilized.
  • Ablation of a catheter: In this treatment, a blood artery, typically in the groin, is used to insert a small, flexible tube (catheter) that is directed at the heart. Multiple catheters may occasionally be required. Small scars in the heart are made by sensors on the catheter's tip using heat (radiofrequency radiation).
  • A regular pulse is reestablished because the scar tissue permanently suppresses bad electrical signals. Although access to the heart is not required for this approach, catheter ablation can be performed in conjunction with other heart treatments.

Treatment is frequently not necessary for those with an additional signaling route but no symptoms (WPW pattern).

Complications Of The Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome

Sudden cardiac death in children and young adults has been associated with the WPW syndrome's side effects.

To scale up your NEET PG exam preparation with the best-in-class video lectures, QBank, Mock Tests and more, download the PrepLadder App!

Download PrepLadder's NEET PG app for Android

Download PrepLadder's NEET PG app for iOS

Rapid Revision 5.0
Auther Details

PrepLadder Medical

Get access to all the essential resources required to ace your medical exam Preparation. Stay updated with the latest news and developments in the medical exam, improve your Medical Exam preparation, and turn your dreams into a reality!


Top searching words

The most popular search terms used by aspirants

  • NEET PG Medicine Preparation