How We Diagnose & Treat Tachycardia
Parents may notice symptoms of tachycardia, like their child complaining their heart is “beeping,” which may mean heart palpitations. For children old enough to talk, we can ask questions and rule out certain conditions before we do any tests.
The most common test is an electrocardiogram, or EKG, which gives us electrical information about the heart. We may also have children wear a Holter monitor, which records their heart rhythms over an entire month.
We can do these tests on babies, too, but we often find the tachycardia while the mother is still pregnant, through our Fetal Cardiology Program. We use a fetal echocardiogram to look more closely at a baby’s heart.
Dangerous tachycardias that are linked to sudden cardiac arrest always need treatment. But the treatment depends on the child’s age and family history (since some arrhythmias are genetic). We may use medication or implantable devices.
For tachycardias like SVT, VT and WPW, we often use cardiac ablation. This is a nonsurgical procedure that lets us specifically target the arrhythmia. It’s one of the most effective treatments and has a very high success rate.