Supraventricular tachycardia

Supraventricular tachycardia is a term used to describe any heart rhythm that is greater than 100 beats per minute originating from above the AV node (the atrium). This includes:

  1. Sinus tachycardia
  2. Atrial tachycardia
  3. Atrial fibrillation
  4. Atrial flutter
  5. AV nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT)
  6. AV reentrant tachycardia (AVRT)
  7. Other less common SVTs

The term “SVT” can be confusing at times. In general, this term is used to describe a narrow complex tachycardia not including atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. The term SVT frequently refers to AVNRT, however technically it means any tachycardic rhythm that originates from above the ventricles (above the AV node, see above list).

The most common cause of a pathologic narrow complex tachycardia that is regular and not atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter is AVNRT or atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia.