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ZachMoran23, April 11,  2021  12:43pm EST

SVT Episode causing AFIB Episode?

Hey everyone, I'm new to this site but have been having some recently troubles with my heart. I'm 22 years old, male, in good shape, casual drinker, smoke **** occasionally, no family history of heart problems. I recently went into AFIB and needed a cardioversion. The cardioversion was successful and I've been in normal sinus rhythm ever since with no issues other than some skipped beats here and there. That was about 6 months ago.

So for the last couple years I have had short episodes where my heart would race very fast and pound for a minute or two and then would stop. It never really bothered me enough to even go to the doctor until this last episode. I thought it was just anxiety or from the increase in heart rate from the **** as it usually would happen after smoking or exercising. This last episode started out how it normally would, my heart was racing very fast and pounding but when it would normally settle down and stop, it started feeling very irregular and I called an ambulance and went the hospital where they said I was in AFIB and I then had the cardioversion.

After seeing this EP and telling him about my history of a racing heart and then how the episode of AFIB started, he told me that I most likely have some other variant of SVT and that caused me to go into AFIB. He said that it's fairly common for that to happen. He said that any heart can go into AFIB if stimulated the right way and that if I was having an episode of SVT it could devolve into an episode of AFIB. So he wants me to do an EP Study to figure out exactly what it is. And if it's an SVT he can ablate it and cure me right there.

Im wondering has anyone else heard of this happening or had it happen to them? I'm pretty new to all this information and not sure what to do.

4 Replies
  • AHAModerator
    AHAModerator, April 11,  2021  6:12pm EST

    Hello there, 

    Thank you for joining the Support Network and sharing your story. We are so sorry you are going through this but happy you are here. We hope you find a sense of community and support here as you hear from others on the network. As you wait to hear from others, here are some resources on Arrhythmia, Atrial Fibrillation, and SVT

    Please keep us updated on how you are doing!

    Best wishes, 

    AHA Moderator 

  • DWaddell
    DWaddell, April 12,  2021  4:27pm EST

    Hi Zach,

    I've had a similar experience. Mine started out as SVT only - because it got to the point where I couldn't convert myself out of it, an ablation was recommended. I had the ablation done last year. During the procedure, I went into a-fib (to the point where the Electrophysiologist almost couldn't get me back to a normal rhythm). Long story short, the ablation cured my SVT, but caused me to have a-fib on/off & abnormal beats since then. My EP won't treat the a-fib unless it's lasting a long time (hours or days, versus the short bursts of it I'm getting now). I just routinely follow up with the EP & he adjusts my medications as needed. For most people, the ablation totally resolves the SVT. Sometimes, repeat ablations are needed. I know a few people who've had 2 or more done. It just depends on how disruptive the SVT is on whether or not it's worth the ablation. The a-fib is a bit more serious because prolonged episodes can cause stroke/heart attack. Could you ask for a 14 day heart monitor, so they can see how often you're going into a-fib/SVT?

  • ZachMoran23
    ZachMoran23, April 13,  2021  2:32am EST

    Hey DWaddell,

    So nothing has happened in about 6 months so the EP said I could do a heart monitor but it might not catch anything because it hasn't happened again in months.

    The way they explained it to me is any heart can go into afib if stimulated the right way and that when I went into my SVT that is what caused me to go into afib in the first place. They told me that if I got the ablation for the SVT it should stop the afib from happening as well. His exact words were "it's like getting rid of the match (SVT) that starts the fire so you don't have to deal with the fire (afib) itself."

    I was pretty confused about all this because it seems everywhere you read about Afib that once it happens you will continue to have it for the rest of your life. But he made it seem like by stoping the SVT that would stop the Afib.

  • DWaddell
    DWaddell, April 13,  2021  9:34pm EST

    Interesting! I always thought that SVT and a-fib were 2 totally unrelated issues, but I'm obviously misunderstanding it. If your EP is confident he/she can solve the problem through ablation, it might be worth a shot. 

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