Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Lori McVay, PA-C


Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) typically a benign finding but can cause symptomatic tachyarrhythmias and sudden death. It is characterized by three main electrocardiogram findings: a short PR interval, a delta wave and a widened QRS complex. These findings represent a preexcitation of the ventricles through an accessory pathway. Clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic to palpitations, lightheadedness, syncope or presyncope, or chest pain if the patient is experiencing an arrhythmia. In rare cases, sudden cardiac arrest is the first sign of WPW. Treatment options are dependent on the clinical stability of the patient and the presenting arrhythmia. Unstable patients should be immediately cardioverted. In the long term, radiofrequency ablation may be indicated.


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