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Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

Abstract

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Synonyms of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

  • Accessory Atrioventricular Pathways
  • Preexcitation Syndrome
  • WPW Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No subdivisions found.

General Discussion

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is a rare congenital heart disorder involving irregularities in the electrical system of the heart. In individuals with WPW syndrome, an abnormal alternate electrical pathway (accessory pathway), exists between the atrium and the ventricle, resulting in abnormal heartbeat rhythms (arrhythmias) and faster than normal heartbeats (tachycardia).

The normal heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers are the atria and the two lower chambers are the ventricles. Within the right atrium of a normal heart is a natural pacemaker that initiates and controls the heartbeat. The electrical stimulus travels from the pacemaker (sinoatrial or SA node) to the ventricles along a specific pathway consisting of conducting tissue and known as the AV (atrioventricular) node. The extra electrical pathway in individuals with WPW syndrome bypasses the normal route and causes the ventricles to beat earlier than normal (preexcitation) and can allow electrical impulses to be conducted in both directions (i.e., from the atria to the ventricles and from the ventricles to the atria).

Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome Resources

Organizations:

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