Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome

Dr. Alrich L. Gray // Central Montana Heart & Vascular Institute

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome occurs when an extra electrical pathway between your heart's upper and lower chambers causes a rapid heartbeat. The rapid heartbeats last for short periods of time and are not life-threatening, but they can build up to cause heart problems in the future. Symptoms of WPW syndrome include:

  • Heart palpitations – a sudden pounding, fluttering or racing feeling in your chest
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting

To treat Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, your doctor may perform a catheter ablation, during which he will use radiofrequency or cryo energy to modify the pathway in your heart that is generating the electrical abnormalities. In addition to an ablation, your doctor may prescribe medications that will help your heart’s chambers stay at a healthy rhythm.