Wolf Parkinson White

Wolf Parkinson White or WPW syndrome causes changes in the heartbeat.

In this condition, a fast heart rate is caused by a redundant circuit connecting the parts of the heart.  This acts like a short cut, stimulating the heart to beat too early.

The symptoms of WPW can include light headedness, fainting, exercise intolerance, anxiety or chest pain.  Sometimes a person with WPW has no symptoms at all.

WPW is normally present at birth.  It can be diagnosed by a heart rhythm test called an EKG.  The EKG finding is a short PR interval or delta wave, which looks like an upsloping curve in the QRS complex.

When WPW needs to be cured, a procedure called catheter ablation can help.  In this procedure, the electrical short cut is disrupted by a tiny burn or scar.