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Preexcitation Syndrome

Last updated Nov. 3, 2020

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (or WPW Syndrome) is a congenital condition that affects the heart. The condition arises due to a disruption in the process of how the message (signal that causes the heart to beat) gets passed within the heart.


The topic Preexcitation Syndrome you are seeking is a synonym, or alternative name, or is closely related to the medical condition Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

Quick Summary:

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (or WPW Syndrome) is a congenital condition that affects the heart. The condition arises due to a disruption in the process of how the message (signal that causes the heart to beat) gets passed within the heart
  • As a result of this condition, the heart beats faster than normal, since the condition changes the normal physiology of the heart
  • The heart is composed of three segments that make up the electrical system, which is how the information gets transferred. These segments include the sinoatrial node, atrioventricular node, and His Purkinje system
    • The sinoatrial node is the most important segment of the 3, whose function is to initiate the signal
    • The atrioventricular node allows the signal that is produced by the sinoatrial node to be distributed to the ventricles      
    • The His-Purkinje system distributes the signals throughout the ventricles making them to contract
  • In Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, an extra electrical pathway is present between the upper and lower chambers of heart causing the heart to beat rapidly
  • WPW Syndrome is treated using medications and procedures to destroy the abnormal electrical pathways. In some cases, a surgery may be required
  • The prognosis of the condition depends upon the severity of the condition. Overall, the prognosis of Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome is good with appropriate treatment and surgery (if required) 

Please find comprehensive information on Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome regarding definition, distribution, risk factors, causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention, prognosis, and additional useful information HERE.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 7, 2017
Last updated: Nov. 3, 2020