Overview

In Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, an extra electrical pathway between your heart's upper and lower chambers causes a rapid heartbeat. The extra pathway is present at birth and fairly rare.

The episodes of fast heartbeats usually aren't life-threatening, but serious heart problems can occur. Treatment can stop or prevent episodes of fast heartbeats. A catheter-based procedure (ablation) can permanently correct the heart rhythm problems.

Most people with an extra electrical pathway experience no fast heartbeat. This condition, called Wolff-Parkinson-White pattern, is discovered only by chance during a heart exam. Although WPW pattern is often harmless, doctors might recommend further evaluation before children with WPW pattern participate in high-intensity sports.

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome care at Mayo Clinic

Nov. 17, 2016
References
  1. Di Biase L, et al. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of the WPW syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Aug. 16, 2016.
  2. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Atrial fibrillation: Clinical features, mechanisms, and management. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 17, 2016.
  3. Di Biase L, et al. Treatment of symptomatic arrhythmias associated with the WPW syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Aug. 16, 2016.
  4. Dubin AM. Management of supraventriuclar tachycardia in children. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Aug. 16, 2016.
  5. Dubin AM. Supraventriuclar tachycardia in children: AV reentrant tachycardia (including WPW) and AV nodal reentrant tachycardia. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Aug. 16, 2016.
  6. AskMayoExpert. Supraventricular tachycardia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
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  8. Kliegman RM, et al. Disturbances of rate and rhythm of the heart. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 17, 2016.
  9. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Therapy for cardiac arrhythmias. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 17, 2016.
  10. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 13, 2016.
  11. Bengali R, et al. Perioperative management of the WPW syndrome. Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia. 2014;28:1375.