What is the official diagnosis?
perked me up no end. Bless you
I am not sure that would qualify as it is in the artery and not the heart. I am not a doctor mind you but I believe the concern is if there is scar tissue from a heart attack then the electrical signal can get caught or trapped because of the scar tissue confusing the heart or causing it to beat erratically. If this happens in the lower chambers then the cardiac output is not sufficient to sustain life but if you have an issue it sounds like your heart is handling things well, if there is damage it is not creating a situation where the signal gets hopelessly stuck. In those instances an ICD is usually prescribed. But considering your cardiologists response it sounds like your heart is in fine enough shape to not need to worry about falling into any dangerous rhythms but due to your age and history I would caution going off the meds without talking to the doctor.
Bright star, thank you. Can I go one more?
Does having a stent make a 'damaged heart' ?
Hmm, by saying 3 or more verticals I am now wondering if you are experiencing nsvt not psvt. Nsvt is actually nonsustained ventricular tachycardia and in a damaged heart it can be dangerous but for most of us with a healthy heart they are meaningless but they are more of a threat then tachycardias of the atria. They likely do not present as a crazy fast beat but can feel like hard beats some don't feel anything at all. They are a concern when they sustain for long enough to cause a person to pass out. That does not seem to be the case for you. Your heart is tolerating it well and converting on its own so that is likely why your cardio is not impressed or worried. This said, I would assuredly discuss with your cardio before stopping any meds. Know your risk factors first. But to answer your question most arrythmias can be corrected through an ablation where they burn scar tissue in he heart to block a signal from getting caught in a loop The very short runs that you are having though may be hard to map and the arrhythmia needs to be tracked for the EP to know where to burn to stop the issue. Mine was very very active so easy to locate and in a spot that was not going to cause me more trouble than good. VTs and pvcs are a bit harder to correct. Well anyways, all arrhythmias are technically fixable but not all are easily fixable. You would need to check with your cardio if you were a good candidate for ablation. At this point I am not certain you are. Take care.
thank you again for your detailed advice. I had another session last night and tried your suggestion - what I discover today is the Valsala maneuvre. Good hard work (good for abs too). Once again not a trace of accelerated heart beat. Steady 66 pulse thoughout. No breathlessness either. I'm a freak, I guess.
As tom says, if the doc says so, it is so. i watched on her Holter screen the green verticals change suddenly to three of four or more yellow ones grouped. She says even one group is something to worry about and you have 16. I sought a second opinion and the cardio, unimpressed, doubled my Coreg and said continue the Rythmol 150mg. These plus aspirin and statins (Crestor) are getting me down. . I'm tempted to throw them out to see if life could come back to normal.
I like your phrase 'once I cleared up my PSVT'....? It can be done, then? Bless
You did not mention the type of psvt they thought you might have. There are actually a few different variations. PSVT means that you have a rapid heart beat on and off, not all the time so the P in front of svt (supraventricular/over the ventricles tachycardia) means proximal or once in a while not sustaining. You may have the tachycardia from time to time but you can still have odd symptoms when you are not having tachycardia. Extra beats called ectopics can and likely do pop in. They are actually a big trigger for the tachycardia to start up. Things that can bring on the ectopics are stress, adrenaline and stomach issues.
Like I said there are different types of svt. If you are having a run of pacs or ectopic beats in the upper chambers that is considered to be a tachycardia called PAT. The type of tachycardia I had was called accessory pathway svt and is caused by an extra muscle fiber in the heart that allows the signal to get caught in a loop, my particular variety was called avnrt and the extra fiber was near the anode which is the most common type. These types of tachycardias can lead to very high rates and are characterized by the episodes starting and stopping in one beat. They generally are a life long issue but can develop at any age when the dynamics of the heart change allowing the extra muscle fiber to conduct the signal. There is another type of svt called afib that does happen often in older adults due to some enlargement of the heart. PAT and Afib may present at lower rates. Afib does not always include a rapid beat but could be just a chaotic beat. Treatment for each type is different so you would want to discuss with your doctor the type of svt they think you have and the odds of it getting corrected by ablation. This is especially true if you have afib. You should in the minimum be checked to see if you need to be put on blood thinners to minimize the risk of stroke which can sometimes occur after a person reverts back into normal sinus rhythm after an episode.
I believe it may work for all types of svt so give it a try, if you have an episode and want to try to stop it on your own you can try holding your breath and bearing down like straining to go to the bathroom. Or try drinking a very cold glass of water. If it doesn't work and your tachycardia lasts for more than a few minutes I would consider going to the er to get it to stop. At 85 your heart may not be as strong as a younger person. Your life of exercise probably means it is in better shape than most 85 year olds but you will want to be mindful of what is going on.
But to answer your question, yes you could have something other than just psvt going on. If the doctor saw it you have psvt but you could also have a few other things going on. In general atrial issues are not considered a big deal but at your age you should discuss with your doctor what your risk factors are. As well if you do notice that you are having severe chest pain or passing out those are signs that something could be happening with the ventricles and that is a bit more worrisome especially if you have some blocks but at this point it doesn't sound like the issues are affecting your ability to be conscious but do discuss with your doctor what your risk factors are based on your heart health and what you should do about your psvt. Once I cleared up my psvt my ectopic beat activity has improved so an ablation may be worth a shot but discuss this with your doctor. Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Most grateful, thank you. I keep taking my pulse rate during these episodes and it has never gone beyond lower 70's. My heart pounds but not drastically. My cardio showed me on her screen the reading from the Holter. there were 16 'events' nine brief, seven a 'little more prolonged'. She did not say what the pulse speed was and I had had no feeling whatever that it was faster than usual. By the way I have full block RBBB and demiblock LBBB
A confusing factor is that I believe I have GAD ( a London specialist said I was 'burned out' in 1987 after 30 years in a top stress job) and the list of symptoms for a GAD event are the same as thost of STV except that in GAD there is a more mention of anxiety belly ache, as if you 're next in the line for the firing squad.. If you have time - did you ever have this ? It's a real spirit breaker and can go on for hours. I can ease it often with a benzodioazepine....I won't go on, don't want to bore you as I'd so appreciate any comment at all from you.
I had PSVT (aka SVT) for 54 years. I don't know if that makes me an expert or not in what to look for with this condition. But I can tell you this: I felt every single event. The feeling you get inside your chest alone is unmistakable. It feels like it's going to beat out your chest. Your heart is typically beating 3-4 times per second, and the little circular flat area of skin just below the sternum appears to vibrate in time with the heartbeat.Then there are other physical symptoms as well. You may feel out of breath, and get a feeling that a weight has been laid on your chest. Some people get pre-syncope and need to sit down. But I would say that everyone passing through this forum feels the rapid heartbeat; it's unmistakable.
Now, you are without a doubt the oldest person to report SVT in the 3+ years that I've been associated with the forum. Is that a factor in your not feeling it? I don't know for sure, but I'd say I don't think so. You didn't say how fast your pulse was reported. SVT ranges between 160 and 240 and higher. SVT is not good on an aging heart. At 59, my cardiologist took one look at my SVT and urged me to get an electrophysiology study where they'd perform an ablation to sever the errant electrical pathway causing the SVT. Even though I was and am in excellent physical shape and still extremely active, he was very concerned about the high rate on my aging heart. Basically, I was told that a 60 year old heart is not equipped to handle a heart rate of the 240 bpm I experienced during my episodes. This is what I would suggest you should investigate as well. But again, I'd say that EVERYONE here feels SVT when it happens. It happens abruptly, and it terminates in a similar fashion.