What Are the Basics of Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia?

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What is paroxysmal atrial tachycardia?

Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia is an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. Paroxysmal arrhythmia is when the onset of an arrhythmia begins and ends abruptly. Atria means that arrhythmia begins in the upper Chambers of the heart. Tachycardia is an abnormal rapid heartbeat. Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT) is also known as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT).


PAT occurs when the heart's atrium emits an electrical signal erratically. This affects the electrical signals transmitted by the sinoatrial node, the heart's natural pacemaker. Your heart rate will increase. This prevents your heart from having enough time to fill up before pumping blood to the rest of the body. As a result, your body may not get enough blood or oxygen.


PAT doesn't typically have any symptoms, but some people may have some of the following feelings:
  • dizziness
  • palpitations
  • angina
  • breathlessness
In some rare cases, there are more serious symptoms:
  • cardiac arrest
  • unconsciousness



Most PAT patients do not need treatment. If your symptoms occur frequently or last a long time, your doctor may recommend medication. But a little action can stimulate the vagus nerve to slow the heart rate. If your condition is serious, your doctor may provide you with some prescription drugs. These drugs include flecainide or propafenone. There are two forms, injection or medication during illness. Keyword: paroxysmal atrial tachycardia