Heart and Blood Conditions

Supraventricular Tachycardia Symptoms and Diagnosis

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    • For appointments in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, call 206-987-2515.
    • For appointments in Tacoma and Silverdale, call 253-272-1812.
    • For appointments in Alaska, call 907-339-1945.

    If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

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  • Locations +

    • Seattle Children's Main Campus: 206-987-2515
    • Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center: 425-454-4644
    • Everett: 425-304-6080
    • South Clinic in Federal Way: 253-838-5878
    • Olympia: 360-459-5009
    • South Sound Cardiology Clinics: 253-272-1812
    • Tri-Cities (Richland): 509-946-0976
    • Wenatchee: 509-662-9266
    • Pediatric Cardiology of Alaska: 907-339-1945
    • Seattle Children's doctors provide many cardiac services at regional sites throughout the Pacific Northwest. See our complete list of Heart Center locations.

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    • If you are a provider, fax a New Appointment Request Form (NARF) (PDF) (DOC) to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • No pre-referral work-up is required for most conditions. If you have already done testing such as an EKG, Holter monitor or echocardiogram, please fax this information as well as relevant clinic notes and the NARF to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • Your patient will be seen as quickly as possible by the provider who is the best match for managing the current problem.
    • View our complete Heart Center Referral Information (PDF).

Symptoms of Supraventricular Tachycardia

Children with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) may feel like their heart is racing or pounding. If their heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to their brain, they may feel lightheaded or dizzy. Rarely, children with SVT have no symptoms.

Infants and very young children may not be able to communicate symptoms of SVT. But, in some cases, a caregiver might notice a racing heartbeat.

Supraventricular Tachycardia Diagnosis

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your child, check their heartbeat and use a stethoscope to listen to their heart. The doctor will ask for details about any symptoms your child has, their health history and your family health history.

To learn about the electrical activity (rhythm) in your child’s heart, the doctor will use an electrocardiogram (ECG). If an abnormal heartbeat does not happen during this test, your child may need to wear a portable rhythm-monitoring device at home. A device called a Holter monitor can record your child’s heart’s activity for 24 hours. Another device, called an event recorder, can be turned on by your child when they feel a problem with their heart rhythm. SVT that tends to happen only once in a while can be hard to diagnose.

To get more information about how your child’s heart looks and works, they may need other tests, like a chest X-ray, exercise testing or an echocardiogram. A rhythm specialist (pediatric electrophysiologist), may also use electrophysiology studies to help detect the cause of a child’s abnormal rhythm (arrhythmia) and decide which treatment to use.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.