The ECG feature on modern smartwatches has introduced an unprecedented convenience in self-monitoring abnormal heart rhythms like sinus tachycardia and supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). The discussion on sinus tachycardia vs SVT often involves understanding these two often-confused heart rhythms and their manifestations on the ECG. Let’s dive in.
What’s Sinus Tachycardia?
Sinus tachycardia is a condition where the heart beats faster than normal, at more than 100 beats per minute in adults. It’s often a normal response to stress, fever, dehydration, or strenuous physical activity.
On an ECG, sinus tachycardia is marked by a regular rhythm with a rate exceeding 100 beats per minute, where every QRS complex is preceded by a normal P wave. Here’s more on what sinus tachycardia looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)?
SVT is an abnormal fast heart rhythm starting in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart, leading to a heart rate often between 150 to 250 beats per minute.
On an ECG, SVT is identified by a rapid, regular rhythm with typically narrow QRS complexes. Often, P waves are difficult to see. “Non-sustained” SVT lasts less than 30 seconds, whereas “sustained” SVT lasts longer, sometimes even up to several hours. Here’s more on what SVT looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s the Difference Between SVT and Tachycardia?
The difference between SVT and Tachycardia is that, on the ECG, distinguishing SVT vs sinus tach often hinges on the visibility of P waves, which are typically visible in sinus tachycardia but often obscured or absent in SVT.
When comparing SVT vs sinus tachycardia, note that sinus tachycardia is often a physiological response to normal life events like stress or exercise, whereas SVT is typically considered an underlying heart issue. While sinus tachycardia can often be addressed by managing the underlying cause like relaxing to reduce your heart rate, SVT might require therapeutic interventions, such as medications or procedures like cardiac ablation. Distinguishing between SVT vs tachycardia on your watch's ECG can be an effective step towards better heart health management. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!
Still Not Sure if It’s Sinus Tachycardia or Supraventricular Tachycardia on Your ECG?
Differentiating between sinus tachycardia vs SVT on your ECG can be tricky. If you’re still looking for help interpreting your ECG further, check out the Qaly app on App Store or Play Store. On Qaly, human experts will interpret your ECGs within minutes, day or night. Try out the Qaly app for free today!