Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes WPW syndrome?

The heart has 4 compartments, or chambers. The upper chambers are called the atria, and the lower chambers are called the ventricles. The walls of the heart squeeze together (contract) to push blood through the chambers. The contractions are controlled by an electrical signal that begins in the heart's natural "pacemaker" (called the sinoatrial node).

In individuals who have WPW syndrome, an extra electrical pathway can cause the electrical signal to arrive at the ventricles too soon. This can lead to periods of very fast heart rate, which is called tachycardia.


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Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Created: 05/10