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Paroxysmal supraventicular tachycardia: causes and symptoms of Laura Pausini’s disorder

During the final episode ofEurovision Song Contest 2022Laura Pausini he walked away from the stage for about twenty minutes. Rumors immediately emerged about the reasons for this sudden absence. they told of an alleged argument with the two hosts (Mika and Alessandro Cattelan) and then of a drop in blood pressure.

In fact, his retreat from the stage has to do with a small illness that has a name: paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, and has accompanied her since she was little. You recently talked about it with Mara Venier, in an episode of Sunday In of which she was a guest.

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardiaand is the most common form of hyperkinetic arrhythmia in pediatric age. Its incidence is estimated between 1/250 and 1/1000 patients between 0 and 5 years (source Meyer Health Campus) and 90% of cases occur within the first year of life. Generally speaking, it is a disorder that can occur in healthy individuals, without heart disease or other organic conditions and can also arise in subjects subjected to strong emotions or severe physical exertion.

To better understand what one of the most loved Italian singers suffers from, and not only in our country, we interviewed her Francesco Vettaprofessor of cardiology at Unicamillus and director of the complex cardiology operational unit at the Santissimi Filippo and Nicola hospital in Avezzano.

Professor, what are we talking about when we talk about paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia?
«It’s as if it were a short circuit. There are very frequent electrical impulses at the ventricle level. Tachycardia is when you have beats above 100, paroxysmal means that it arises suddenly. So there is no progressive growth and gradual decline: it starts and stops suddenly, which is what differs it from atrial growth.”

What are the symptoms of paroxysmal?
«It is normally induced by an extrasystole which occurs in a predisposing situation. However, it is necessary to pay attention to indicator signals such as sudden heart pounding sensation and to inconveniences like sweating And breathlessness. When it manifests itself more intensely, the very high heart rate can also lead to fainting».

Is it a congenital pathology?
«Yes, it’s congenital. However, it can be favored by unfavorable environmental situations: physical and mental stress, as well as the abuse of alcohol or stimulants.”

How do we live with it?
«Not good if they are frequent. Often those who suffer from it are forced to stop, sit or lie down. Evidently this is what happened to Laura Pausini at Eurovision. Although it is a common pathology, especially in the age range from 10 to 45, it manifests itself when young. However, it is much less frequent in older subjects.”

What are some precautions to best manage it?
«For example, in the moment of tachycardia, knowing the maneuver called ponzamento: you have to close the glottis and you have to push as if you were stomaching. The inhalation is then maintained for a few seconds and this stimulates an activity of the vagus nerve which interrupts the arrhythmia.”

Can you do sports?
«Sport does not cause an additional risk, indeed due to the same mechanism explained above it can favor an increase in vagal tone which can be advantageous. So there are no indications to do or contraindications. Patients must be well treated first: either with the electrophysiological study or with ablation.”

What are the treatment methods for the pathology?
«In addition to pharmacological therapies, the gold standard of therapy is the electrophysiological study to identify the accessory pathways and their ablation. That is, the supply of thermal energy that determines the elimination of these pathways, interrupting the possibility that re-entry mechanisms could be triggered.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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