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Anyone with SVT (supraventricular tachycardia)? Have you used Kardia Mobile?

Discussion in 'Cardiovascular and Respiratory' started by ahimsa, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This post got pretty long so I separated it into questions and background.

    Questions:

    1. Do any forum members have a diagnosis of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia)?

    2. Has anyone tried the Kardia mobile device/app (portable type of ekg)?

    Background:

    I don't know what kind of SVT I have. Based on my age of onset and medical history my cardiologist thinks it is AV nodal re-entrant tachycardia. My episodes are pretty random so it has never been caught on any EKG or holter monitor.

    My SVT can happen twice in a week, even twice in a day. Or it can not happen for a whole month. And like I said, it's not bad enough that I've ever bothered to do more testing (I guess technology has really improved since my holter monitor in the early 1990s).

    I'm pretty blase about my SVT because I have had this since age 11. The episodes were scary the first couple times they happened when I was a kid. But I quickly got used to them. And it never stopped me from doing anything.

    My SVT episodes are both annoying and exhausting but they have always been a minor background thing. My heart always returned to a normal rhythm by itself within 2-3 mins.

    But after I hit 40-ish (?) the episodes started to last longer. Now it can last as long as 45 minutes and 20-30 minutes is pretty common. I've tried the Valsalva maneuver and few other things without much luck over the years. So I just lie down and it eventually goes away.

    Having my heart race at 185-190 beats per minute is a lot more exhausting after having ME. After all, my baseline energy is a lot lower than it was.

    My cardiologist has suggested ablation more than once. But unless it gets a lot worse then it is not worth it to me to do surgery (even minor surgery) for something like this.

    At my last appointment my cardiologist recommended this Kardia device to me. He even demonstrated it in his office. And the idea of finally being able to capture one of these SVT episodes (after 47 years of having them) is definitely appealing! Or maybe I just want an excuse to buy an updated Android phone or iPad which I need since I don't have anything compatible with this Kardia gadget. :laugh:

    Anyway, I think it's a long shot that anyone here has used this Kardia gadget. But I thought I'd ask! :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  2. Joel

    Joel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They are good. A family member has one after their doctor recommended it. It was the only way to capture what was going on with their heart because it was intermittent.
     
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  3. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  4. MSEsperanza

    MSEsperanza Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In case this is helpful, I just report my experience with a diagnosis of atrial flutter:

    I had paroxysmal tachycardia which was diagnosed as a common type of SVT (atrial flutter) only when it became quite nasty after I had developed ME.

    I repeatedly had had some strange phases of being extraordinarily exhausted after exercise, but prior to getting ill with ME, this occurred too irregularly to be worried about. I just thought sometimes: "Where are those techno beats coming from?" And only when those techno sounds lasted longer than ten minutes and the beats were even getting louder when I covered my ears, I realized that neither there was a techno party in the woods nor my neighbors were to blame, but my heart produced the noise.

    I had several ECGs that looked normal, only when an exercise ECG looked “suspicious”, I was referred to a special heart catheter examination.

    The atrial flutter was diagnosed and a catheter ablation was done.

    I appreciate to not have these tachycardia attacks as an additional source of PEM anymore.

    So I didn't have a “Kardia Mobile“, but to get the atrial flutter diagnosed and removed, did make a difference to my quality of life.

    Seems to me also a legitimate desire ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  5. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks so much for adding your experience, @MSEsperanza - I'm happy the ablation procedure worked for you! :)

    I do think it is probably worth getting this device so I can finally capture an EKG. Then my cardiologist will be able to see what type of tachycardia it is.

    My SVT tachycardia (as opposed to any NMH/POTS/dysautonomia type of tachycardia) is not exercise induced. And it's different from the type of tachycardia that happens while standing still. For me this type of tachycardia ia more likely to be triggered by bending over.

    Obviously, it doesn't happen every time I bend over! But a lot of my SVT episodes have started that way. In fact, my first episode, when I was 11, started when I bent down to tie my shoe. But it was not until many years later that I heard from my cardiologist that bending could be a possible trigger.

    I've tried to record my BP and heart rate on my blood pressure machine during a few of these episodes - 104/82 pulse 185, 116/101 pulse 179, 105/93 pulse 181. But sometimes the machine won't work and just shows "error."
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  6. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Just a quick follow up post:

    I ordered the Kardia mobile device. After it arrives (it may take me a while) I'll post an update.
     
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  7. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    A quick update --

    Good news: Captured an SVT episode (supraventricular tachycardia) this afternoon with my Kardia gadget. Cool to finally have ECG of what's happening!

    Bad news: This SVT episode lasted about 45 minutes - pretty exhausting to have my heart beat at 175-185 for that long. So I've been resting in my recliner all afternoon.

    I will make an appointment with my cardiologist (one of these days) so he can take a look at the ECG.

    But there's no hurry. I have had this type of tachycardia for 46 years so another few months won't matter. :)
     
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  8. Marky

    Marky Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  9. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks for your reply and the link to that research! :)

    I will start by saying I don't fully understand all the terms for different heart issues. So I may be using the language incorrectly. Feel free to correct me if I mess up the terminology!

    I clicked on the link you gave and did a quick search but did not find an exact match for the term supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

    I did see this:
    I thought that the words rare/sporadic meant a few beats in a row, not extended periods? And is this the same thing as SVT? I don't know.

    Also, my SVT does not come on with exercise although I guess that can happen for others. For me the SVT can start in any situation - sitting, standing, even sleeping (wakes me up). According to my cardiologist bending over can trigger it for some people. At any rate, in 47 years my SVT has never been triggered by exercise.

    I had a 24-hour holter monitor done in 1991, about a year and a half after my illness onset. I did not have an episode of SVT while wearing the holter monitor.

    But that was not surprising since my SVT happens pretty randomly. It can happen twice in one week or not happen for a couple of months. It's about once a month on average (very short ones, less than a minute, are a lot more common). No surprise that a 24-hour snap shot would miss it.

    My cardiologist has guessed the version of SVT that I have is AVNRT - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/avnrt/cdc-20355254

    But that was based on my symptoms and history. He has not yet seen any of these recent ECGs that I've recorded with the Kardia device (appointment in Oct).

    Here's my Jan. 2019 ECG showing 201 beats per minute:

    ECG-Jan2019-201bpm.png

    I think this SVT episode lasted about 20-25 minutes before it went away? I have been trying to write down how long it lasts but forgot for this one. I do remember that this one was not as long as the December one which lasted 45 minutes.

    Sorry for rambling but once I got started I figured I'd just describe it the best that I can. Maybe it will be helpful for someone out there. :)
     
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  10. Marky

    Marky Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @ahimsa thanks for the answer:) I believe i read that its pretty common that they last longer the longer they are left untreated (with e.g ablation or meds). The ones I got lasted from 30 sec to 1 min i dont remember exactly was pretty stressed out :p

    "I thought that the words rare/sporadic meant a few beats in a row, not extended periods?"

    Yes i think ur right, though im not sure. Its still called SVTS though, it just refers to where in the heart the electric abnormality occurs.
     
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  11. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My cardiologist has been telling me for years that I should get ablation done. I'm hesitant because my SVT is annoying but not disabling.

    I'm mildly concerned about undergoing the procedure and having it making something else worse (mainly my POTS/NMH issues but also ME - whether those are all one thing or two things I don't know!).
    I was pretty stressed, too, the first few times this happened to me! I was only 11 years old.

    But I'm pretty blase about it now after having it for so many years.

    I should probably look into the catheter ablation option more seriously. But at least now I have some recordings that I can show to my cardiologist.
     
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  12. Marky

    Marky Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hey i get ya its a tough call to make. I guess it could be worthwhile to assess your risk for clotting, thats the main concern as far as i understand when it goes on a long time!

    Grats on catching it on a recording:) Its hard to do when its random..
     
  13. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thank you. That's a risk my cardiologist has not mentioned (or maybe I've just forgotten?). I will ask him next time.
    I was so excited to see an SVT episode "on paper" after so many years!

    The Kardia device is pretty cool (see link in first post in the thread).

    But, of course, it's not covered by insurance. Fortunately, I could afford $99 without worrying too much. I know that's not true for a lot of people (and not just ME patients).
     
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  14. Marky

    Marky Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Wow Kardia IS really cool! I didn`t know there was the technology for programs to read EKGs. I can understand ur elation

    Dont take my word for it, actually i think clotting is only a concern with atrial fibrillation because of reduced output
     
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  15. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    A short update. It may not be interesting to anyone else, and it's not related to M.E. at all, but thought I'd share anyway.

    Last night I had yet another SVT episode (supraventricular tachycardia). I managed to record something interesting so I'm putting it here.

    To recap: my SVT is annoying, and exhausting (especially if it lasts a long time) but not scary or disabling. I've had it since age 11 so I'm used to it. The longest episode for me (so far!) was about 45 minutes long but 10-20 minutes is more common.

    After I got the Kardia device I recorded every SVT that happened for a few months. Then I printed out 5 of them for my cardiologist for my appointment last October (yearly appointment to renew my prescriptions).

    And then, after all that work, I actually forgot to ask my cardiologist, "So, what type of SVT is it?" (there are several types)

    Anyway, since last year I've been pretty lax. I don't bother recording most of them. I figure there's no need for more data.

    But last night I decided to record it for some reason. By sheer coincidence my heart flipped from fast rhythm to normal right in the middle of the recording. I thought that was cool so I'm posting that part of the ECG here.

    July 21 ECG-SVT transition.png
     
  16. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh, I forgot to mention one thing. I read that supraventricular tachycardia is on the list of conditions that puts a person at higher risk of complications if they contract COVID-19.

    I wasn't actually looking for that information. I stumbled across it when I was reading this article (in the first paragraph):

    https://www.thecut.com/article/rep-lauren-underwood-profile.html

    But maybe it's only certain types of SVT that put you at greater risk? I'm not sure.
     

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