Got other questions on SVT or Vtach? See the Qaly guides on SVT and Vtach:
- What SVT Looks Like on Your ECG
- What Vtach Looks Like on Your ECG
- How to Read an ECG: Stanford Cardiologist Explains
- The Ultimate Cardiologist's Guide to the Smartwatch ECG
The modern smartwatch ECG is a sophisticated tool for heart health analysis, especially for monitoring abnormal heart rhythms. A common comparison among arrhythmias is between supraventricular tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia, or SVT vs VT. Let’s dive in.
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 Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)?
VT, on the other hand, is a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. It often results in a heart rate of 100 to 250 beats per minute, which can be life-threatening. On an ECG, V-tach shows a rapid, regular rhythm with wide and bizarre QRS complexes, often overshadowing the P waves.
Like with SVT, “non-sustained” V-tach lasts less than 30 seconds, whereas “sustained” V-tach lasts longer. Here’s more on what V-tach looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s the Difference Between SVT and VT?
When analyzing a VT vs SVT ECG situation, the main difference lies in the origin of the rhythms and their manifestations on the ECG. While SVT originates in the atria and usually shows narrow QRS complexes, VT arises from the ventricles and displays wide and abnormal QRS complexes.
The health impacts of these two rhythms differ significantly too. While SVT can cause discomfort and sometimes be serious if left untreated, V-tach is more critical and could potentially be life-threatening. As always, consult your healthcare provider immediately if you see signs of either arrhythmia to determine what next best steps to take. The ability to distinguish between V-tach vs SVT on your smartwatch's ECG is a powerful tool for heart health. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!
Still Not Sure if It’s Supraventricular Tachycardia (Sustained) or Ventricular Tachycardia (Sustained) on Your ECG?
Differentiating between SVT vs V-tach 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!