Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

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Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

 

Definition

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is an abnormality in the electrical functioning of the heart which may cause rapid heart rates. The abnormality affects the electrical signal between the atria and ventricles.

Description

Blood is circulated through the heart and body by a muscular pump and valve system involving the atria and ventricles. The right atrium receives oxygen-lacking blood returning to the heart from the body. The blood is passed from the right atrium into the right ventricle, which contracts and sends blood out to the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery sends the blood into the lungs, where carbon dioxide is removed, and fresh oxygen is added. The left atrium receives blood with oxygen from the lungs and passes this arterial blood to the left ventricle, where it is emptied into the aorta, the main artery of the heart.
These functions are directed by electrical signals within the heart. In patients afflicted with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, an abnormal pathway exists that causes additional electrical signals to pass between the atria and ventricles, possibly causing rapid heart rate.

Causes and symptoms

Congenital heart disease may contribute to this and other arrhythmias. Ebstein's anomaly, a congenital heart defect that involves displacement of the tricuspid valve, located on the right side of the heart, is one known cause of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. This anomaly allows blood to flow via the small hole to the other side of the heart. Often, there is no known cause for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Many people with the syndrome have no symptoms. On the other hand, some people experience temporary rapid heartbeat due to certain drugs, smoking, and anxiety.

Diagnosis

Electrocardiography (ECG) is used to diagnose Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and other cardiac arrhythmias. A trained physician, normally a cardiologist, can recognize patterns of electrical conduction. With this syndrome, the extra pathway will show a pattern different from those of normal conduction. If no irregular patterns show on the ECG, the patient may be sent home with a 24-hour heart monitor, called a Holter monitor, which will help detect intermittent occurrences. Other studies, such as the cardiac electrophysiologic study (EPS), may be ordered to pinpoint the location of the accessory pathway, and to determine a course of treatment.

Treatment

Various drugs may be used to treat Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, as well as other cardiac arrhythmias. The purpose of these drugs is to slow the electrical signals and excitation of heart muscles. As some of these drugs may have side effects, including the rare production of new or more frequent arrhythmias, the patient should be carefully observed. Ablative therapies may be accomplished with radio-frequency or cardiac catheters to cut through the tissue which is causing the abnormal electrical signals.
At one time, only open heart surgery was used, but the procedure can be done now with local anesthesia in a special cardiac laboratory. In some cases, surgery may still be recommended to treat Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Young people with this syndrome may be treated more successfully with surgery, rather than enduring a lifetime of drug treatments, or the possible threat of sudden cardiac death.

Alternative treatment

A provider may teach patients methods to help control heart rate. Relaxation techniques, acupuncture, botanical medicine, and homeopathy can all be helpful supportive therapies.

Prognosis

Most patients with this syndrome can lead normal lives, even with episodes of tachycardia. In many cases, the syndrome is secondary to the underlying congenital heart defect. However, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome can cause sudden cardiac arrest in certain instances.

Key terms

Ablative — Used to describe a procedure involving removal of a tissue or body part, or destruction of its funtion.
Arrhythmia — Irregular heart beat.
Electrocardiograph (ECG) — A test of a patient's heartbeat that involves placing leads, or detectors, on the patient's chest to record electrical impulses in the heart. The test will produce a strip, or picture record of the heart's electrical function.
Tachycardia — Rapid heart rate, defined as more than 100 beats per minute.

Prevention

If the syndrome is not due to congenital heart disease, the patient may try avoiding behaviors which lead to arrhythmia, such as elimination of caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, and smoking.

Resources

Organizations

American Heart Association. 7320 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75231. (214) 373-6300 or (800) 242-8721. inquire@heart.org http://www.americanheart.org.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. P.O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105. (301) 251-1222. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

 [woolf´pahr´kin-sun hwīt´]
the association of paroxysmal tachycardia (or atrial fibrillation) and preexcitation. The electrocardiogram displays a short P–R interval and a wide QRS complex that characteristically shows an early QRS vector (delta wave). There is a tendency towards premature supraventricular tachycardia. Called also anomalous atrioventricular excitation.
concealed W.-P.-W. s. the condition in which an accessory pathway is present but is capable of retrograde conduction only. The electrocardiogram is normal and the patient is prone to paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia but is not in danger of excessively rapid heart rates or sudden death should atrial fibrillation develop.
latent W.-P.-W. s. a heart abnormality in which there is an accessory pathway through which conduction would be possible in either direction but for some reason does not take place. The PR and QRS complexes are normal, but there is a tendency to develop premature supraventricular tachycardia. If atrial fibrillation develops, atrioventricular conduction will proceed across the accessory pathway and result in an extremely rapid, irregular rhythm.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wolff-Par·kin·son-White syn·drome

(wūlf park'in-son wīt), [MIM*194200]
an electrocardiographic pattern sometimes associated with paroxysmal tachycardia; it consists of a short PR interval (usually 0.1 second or less; occasionally normal) together with a prolonged QRS complex with a slurred initial component (delta wave).

Wolff-Par·kin·son-White syn·drome

(wūlf park'in-son wīt), [MIM*194200]
an electrocardiographic pattern sometimes associated with paroxysmal tachycardia; it consists of a short PR interval (usually 0.1 second or less; occasionally normal) together with a prolonged QRS complex with a slurred initial component (delta wave).
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
A cardiac conduction disorder in which the sinoatrial impulse travels directly to the AV node or anomalously via the more rapid Kent’s bundle, resulting in premature ventricular contractions and increased susceptibility to supraventricular paroxysmal tachyarrhythmias
EKG Short PR interval—< 0.1 sec—a slur on the upstroke of the R or on the downstroke of an S wave or delta wave, prolonged QRS complex, often ST-T changes
Management Cardioversion, procainamide, lidocaine or radiofrequency ablation of accessory AV pathway
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

Preexcitation syndrome Cardiology A conduction disorder with ↑ susceptibility to supraventricular paroxysmal tachyarrhythmias, in which the sinoatrial impulse travels directly to the AV node or anomalously via Kent's bundle, which is more rapid, resulting in PVCs EKG Short PR interval–< 0.1 sec, a slur on the upstroke of the R or on the downstroke of an S wave or delta wave, prolonged QRS complex, often ST-T changes Management Cardioversion, procainamide, lidocaine or radiofrequency ablation of accessory AV pathway
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Wolff-Par·kin·son-White syn·drome

(wulf'pahrk'in-sŏn-wīt' sin'drōm)
An electrocardiographic pattern sometimes associated with paroxysmal tachycardia; it consists of a short P-R interval (usually 0.1 second or less; occasionally normal) together with a prolonged QRS complex with a slurred initial component (delta wave).
Synonym(s): preexcitation syndrome.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

A heart disorder caused by an abnormal band of conductive tissue that can by-pass the controlling node, the atrio-ventricular node, between the upper and lower chambers. The result can be a kind of feed-back oscillator that may produce fatally rapid heart rates. Treatment is by drugs, such as AMIODARONE or DISOPYRAMIDE to slow the heart. (Louis Wolff, American cardiologist, b. 1898, Sir John Parkinson, b. 1885, English cardiologist; and Paul Dudley White, 1886–1973, American cardiologist).
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Parkinson,

Sir John, English cardiologist, 1885–.
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome - see under Wolff, Louis

White,

Paul Dudley, U.S. cardiologist, 1886-1973.
Bland-White-Garland syndrome - see under Bland-E
Lee-White method - see under Lee, Roger I
McGinn-White sign - see under McGinn, Sylvester
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome - see under Wolff, Louis

Wolff,

Louis, U.S. cardiologist, 1898-1972.
Wolff-Chaikoff block - blocking of the organic binding of iodine and its incorporation into hormone caused by large doses of iodine. Synonym(s): Wolff-Chaikoff effect
Wolff-Chaikoff effect - Synonym(s): Wolff-Chaikoff block
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome - an electrocardiographic pattern sometimes associated with paroxysmal tachycardia. Synonym(s): preexcitation syndrome
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Left Ventricular Hypertrophy, Bronchiectasis, Right Ventricular Hypertrophy, Cavitations, Introduction to heart blocks, Aspergillum, LBBB and RBBB, Elevated Diaphragm, LAH and LPH, Lung collapse, Cancer of Lung, Solitary nodules, Military tuberculosis, Pulmonary tuberculosis, Upper and lower Zone Fibrosis, Introduction to Regular and Irregular rhythms, mitral stenosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, Pulmonary oedema, Cardiomegaly, Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome, Coarctation of Aorta, Introduction to Ischemic changes on ECG, Metallic Valves, T wave inversions, St segment depression.
Within two days Shauna, who lives in Wicklow town, was diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome, better known as one of the SADS, and she had to have heart surgery later that week.
She had an associated Wolff Parkinson White syndrome, but no additional serious conditions like septal defects with reversal of flow or cardiac failure.
The 47-year-old Brazilian has Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome, a heart condition which affects 0.1 to 0.3 per cent of the population.
Twin brothers from the band, Alessandro and Adrian Miccoli, suffer from the heart condition Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome and met Craig Gardner, Jake Jervis and Robin Shroot as part of Blues' Our City Our Vision initiative.
A randomized study of prophylactic cateter ablation in asymptomatic patients with the Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. N ENGL J MED 2003; 349:1803-1811.
The electrophysiologic effect of volatile anaesthetics and sufentanil on the normal atrioventricular conduction system and accessory pathways in Wolff Parkinson White syndrome. Anesthesiology 1994; 80:63-70.
They are due to include Pamela Key, who lost her 29-year-old boyfriend, Alistair Stretch, to Wolff Parkinson White syndrome, which skews electrical signals in the heart.