In Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, an extra electrical pathway between your heart's upper chambers (atria) and lower chambers (ventricles) causes a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia).

The extra electrical pathway is present at birth and fairly rare. WPW is detected in about 4 out of every 100,000 people. People of all ages, including infants, can experience the symptoms related to Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Most people with symptoms first experience them between the ages of 11 and 50.

The episodes of fast heartbeats usually aren't life-threatening, but serious heart problems can occur. Treatment for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome can stop or prevent episodes of fast heartbeats. A catheter-based procedure, known as ablation, can permanently correct the heart rhythm problems.

Mar. 19, 2014