Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, or WPW syndrome, is a type of arrhythmia
. WPW syndrome is a supraventricular tachycardia – a fast heart rhythm, with a rate of more than 100 beats per minute. It begins above the ventricles, the heart’s two lower chambers.
WPW syndrome occurs when you have an extra electrical pathway, or circuit, in your heart, which leads to episodes of tachycardia. You may have a related condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White pattern. This harmless condition occurs when there is an extra electrical pathway but periods of tachycardia don’t occur. It’s often discovered when a person is tested for other heart conditions, although it’s present at birth.
For most people, WPW syndrome doesn’t cause significant problems. However, more serious complications can occur if you have other heart conditions.