Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

January 16, 2019

July 21, 2020

Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome
Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

What is Wolff Parkinson White syndrome?

Under normal conditions, electrical signals in the heart manage the heartbeat. These electrical signals travel from the upper chambers of the heart to the lower chambers via a tissue called the atrioventricular (AV) node. The signals pause at the AV node before entering the ventricles. In Wolff Parkinson White syndrome (WPW), there exists an extra pathway that conducts the signal to the lower chamber without the pause at the AV node. This leads to an increase in the heart rate, which can reach to about 200 beats per minute instead of the normal 70-80 beats per minute.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The following symptoms are experienced in WPW syndrome:

What are the main causes?

The cause of WPW is yet to be found, but the following may play a role:

  • Male gender
  • Genetic defects in the heart
  • Inherited from the parents

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The following tests are conducted for diagnosing WPW:

  • A study of the medical history and physical examination of the individual
  • Echocardiogram to eliminate the possibility of structural defects of the heart
  • Electrocardiogram to check the electrical signal conduction system of the heart
  • Exercise testing to check if the abnormality remains with exercise
  • Electrophysiology study to check the electrical activity of the heart

Treatment methods for WPW are:

  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs are prescribed to slow down the heart rate or to prevent the increase in heart rate
  • Electrical cardioversion is another method used to manage WPW syndrome when medicines are ineffective
  • Electrophysiology study, where the unwanted pathway is eliminated with a short radiofrequency treatment
  • Open heart surgery to remove the unwanted extra pathway.


  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW)
  2. Cleveland Clinic. [Internet]. Cleveland, Ohio. Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW)
  3. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
  4. National Institutes of Health; [Internet]. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
  5. National Center for Advancing and Translational Sciences. Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

Medicines for Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

Medicines listed below are available for Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.