Updated: 2/27/2018

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome

Topic
Review Topic
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Questions
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Evidence
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Snapshot
  • A 10-year-old boy presents to the pediatrician’s office for an electrocardiogram. His family history includes Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and sudden cardiac death. His parents are adamant about an electrocardiogram at this visit. Results show a widened QRS, a delta wave, and a shortened PR interval, confirming the diagnosis.
Introduction
  • Clinical definition
    • a ventricular pre-excitation syndrome resulting in an aberrant conduction tract that bypasses the atrioventricular (AV) node 
  • Epidemiology
    • risk factors
      • family history
  • Etiology
    • can be familial
  • Pathogenesis
    • ventricular pre-excitation results from an aberrant conduction tract from the atria to the ventricle, known as the bundle of Kent
      • this fast accessory tract bypasses the AV node
      • ventricles then depolarize earlier than normal
      • this causes the classic delta wave and widened QRS
    • administration of calcium channel blockers or digoxin will worsen a supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) caused by WPW syndrome
      • these medications block conduction in the AV node and will force more conduction down the aberrant tract, worsening WPW syndrome
  • Associated conditions
    • Ebstein anomaly
    • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Prognosis
    • can present with
      • atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT)
        • most commonly as orthodromic AVRT
          • narrow QRS complexes
        • less commonly as (5%) antidromic AVRT
          • wide QRS complexes (> 120 ms)
      • atrial fibrillation
      • atrial flutter
      • ventricular tachycardia
      • ventricular fibrillation and sudden death
Presentation
  • Symptoms
    • can be asymptomatic
    • if symptomatic, patients will present with
      • palpitations
      • lightheadedness
      • syncope
      • dizziness
      • chest pain
  • Physical exam
    • tachycardia
Studies
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)  
    • delta wave
    • short PR interval
    • widened QRS complex
    • may have supraventricular tachycardia if symptomatic
  • Making the diagnosis
    • based on clinical presentation and ECG
Differential
  • Bundle branch block
    • distinguishing factor
      • widened and abnormal terminal portion of QRS portion on ECG
Treatment
  • Management approach
    • drugs that delay AV node conduction is typically contraindicated in these patients unless patients have confirmed orthodromic AVRT
  • Medical
    • procainamide
      • indications
        • for patients who are hemodynamically stable
        • for patients with antidromic AVRT or atrial fibrillation due to WPW syndrome
    • adenosine or calcium channel blocker
      • indication
        • for patients with orthodromic AVRT (narrow QRS complexes)
  • Non-operative
    • electrical cardioversion
      • indication
        • for all patients who are hemodynamically unstable due to arrhythmia
    • radiofrequency catheter ablation
      • indication
        • long-term definitive therapy for patients with WPW syndrome
Complications
  • Sudden cardiac death
 

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Questions (1)
Lab Values
Blood, Plasma, Serum Reference Range
ALT 8-20 U/L
Amylase, serum 25-125 U/L
AST 8-20 U/L
Bilirubin, serum (adult) Total // Direct 0.1-1.0 mg/dL // 0.0-0.3 mg/dL
Calcium, serum (Ca2+) 8.4-10.2 mg/dL
Cholesterol, serum Rec: < 200 mg/dL
Cortisol, serum 0800 h: 5-23 μg/dL //1600 h:
3-15 μg/dL
2000 h: ≤ 50% of 0800 h
Creatine kinase, serum Male: 25-90 U/L
Female: 10-70 U/L
Creatinine, serum 0.6-1.2 mg/dL
Electrolytes, serum  
Sodium (Na+) 136-145 mEq/L
Chloride (Cl-) 95-105 mEq/L
Potassium (K+) 3.5-5.0 mEq/L
Bicarbonate (HCO3-) 22-28 mEq/L
Magnesium (Mg2+) 1.5-2.0 mEq/L
Estriol, total, serum (in pregnancy)  
24-28 wks // 32-36 wks 30-170 ng/mL // 60-280 ng/mL
28-32 wk // 36-40 wks 40-220 ng/mL // 80-350 ng/mL
Ferritin, serum Male: 15-200 ng/mL
Female: 12-150 ng/mL
Follicle-stimulating hormone, serum/plasma Male: 4-25 mIU/mL
Female: premenopause: 4-30 mIU/mL
midcycle peak: 10-90 mIU/mL
postmenopause: 40-250
pH 7.35-7.45
PCO2 33-45 mmHg
PO2 75-105 mmHg
Glucose, serum Fasting: 70-110 mg/dL
2-h postprandial:<120 mg/dL
Growth hormone - arginine stimulation Fasting: <5 ng/mL
Provocative stimuli: > 7ng/mL
Immunoglobulins, serum  
IgA 76-390 mg/dL
IgE 0-380 IU/mL
IgG 650-1500 mg/dL
IgM 40-345 mg/dL
Iron 50-170 μg/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase, serum 45-90 U/L
Luteinizing hormone, serum/plasma Male: 6-23 mIU/mL
Female: follicular phase: 5-30 mIU/mL
midcycle: 75-150 mIU/mL
postmenopause 30-200 mIU/mL
Osmolality, serum 275-295 mOsmol/kd H2O
Parathyroid hormone, serume, N-terminal 230-630 pg/mL
Phosphatase (alkaline), serum (p-NPP at 30° C) 20-70 U/L
Phosphorus (inorganic), serum 3.0-4.5 mg/dL
Prolactin, serum (hPRL) < 20 ng/mL
Proteins, serum  
Total (recumbent) 6.0-7.8 g/dL
Albumin 3.5-5.5 g/dL
Globulin 2.3-3.5 g/dL
Thyroid-stimulating hormone, serum or plasma .5-5.0 μU/mL
Thyroidal iodine (123I) uptake 8%-30% of administered dose/24h
Thyroxine (T4), serum 5-12 μg/dL
Triglycerides, serum 35-160 mg/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3), serum (RIA) 115-190 ng/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3) resin uptake 25%-35%
Urea nitrogen, serum 7-18 mg/dL
Uric acid, serum 3.0-8.2 mg/dL
Hematologic Reference Range
Bleeding time 2-7 minutes
Erythrocyte count Male: 4.3-5.9 million/mm3
Female: 3.5-5.5 million mm3
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (Westergren) Male: 0-15 mm/h
Female: 0-20 mm/h
Hematocrit Male: 41%-53%
Female: 36%-46%
Hemoglobin A1c ≤ 6 %
Hemoglobin, blood Male: 13.5-17.5 g/dL
Female: 12.0-16.0 g/dL
Hemoglobin, plasma 1-4 mg/dL
Leukocyte count and differential  
Leukocyte count 4,500-11,000/mm3
Segmented neutrophils 54%-62%
Bands 3%-5%
Eosinophils 1%-3%
Basophils 0%-0.75%
Lymphocytes 25%-33%
Monocytes 3%-7%
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin 25.4-34.6 pg/cell
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration 31%-36% Hb/cell
Mean corpuscular volume 80-100 μm3
Partial thromboplastin time (activated) 25-40 seconds
Platelet count 150,000-400,000/mm3
Prothrombin time 11-15 seconds
Reticulocyte count 0.5%-1.5% of red cells
Thrombin time < 2 seconds deviation from control
Volume  
Plasma Male: 25-43 mL/kg
Female: 28-45 mL/kg
Red cell Male: 20-36 mL/kg
Female: 19-31 mL/kg
Cerebrospinal Fluid Reference Range
Cell count 0-5/mm3
Chloride 118-132 mEq/L
Gamma globulin 3%-12% total proteins
Glucose 40-70 mg/dL
Pressure 70-180 mm H2O
Proteins, total < 40 mg/dL
Sweat Reference Range
Chloride 0-35 mmol/L
Urine  
Calcium 100-300 mg/24 h
Chloride Varies with intake
Creatinine clearance Male: 97-137 mL/min
Female: 88-128 mL/min
Estriol, total (in pregnancy)  
30 wks 6-18 mg/24 h
35 wks 9-28 mg/24 h
40 wks 13-42 mg/24 h
17-Hydroxycorticosteroids Male: 3.0-10.0 mg/24 h
Female: 2.0-8.0 mg/24 h
17-Ketosteroids, total Male: 8-20 mg/24 h
Female: 6-15 mg/24 h
Osmolality 50-1400 mOsmol/kg H2O
Oxalate 8-40 μg/mL
Potassium Varies with diet
Proteins, total < 150 mg/24 h
Sodium Varies with diet
Uric acid Varies with diet
Body Mass Index (BMI) Adult: 19-25 kg/m2
Calculator

(M1.CV.39) An 18-year-old male reports to his physician that he is having repeated episodes of a "racing heart beat". He believes these episodes are occurring completely at random. He is experiencing approximately 2 episodes each week, each lasting for only a few minutes. During the episodes he feels palpitations and shortness of breath, then nervous and uncomfortable, but these feelings resolve in a matter of minutes. He is otherwise well. Vital signs are as follows: T 98.8F, HR 60 bpm, BP 110/80 mmHg, RR 12. Included is a copy of his resting EKG. What is the likely diagnosis? Review Topic

QID: 100555
FIGURES:
1

Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

32%

(9/28)

2

Panic attacks

29%

(8/28)

3

Ventricular tachycardia

11%

(3/28)

4

Atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia

11%

(3/28)

5

Atrioventricular block, Mobitz Type II

11%

(3/28)

M1

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