How is WPW diagnosed?

WPW can only be diagnosed by reviewing an ECG (electrocardiogram). A holter or ambulatory monitor and exercise testing are also helpful in evaluating patients known to have WPW.

In the past, patients with WPW but without symptoms had been observed by a cardiologist for many years. Recently, new guidelines have been published for this group of patients. Your cardiologist may order a holter monitor or stress test to look for a persistent patter of WPW. If the WPW pattern persists, invasive electrophysiology testing is now recommended.

Your doctor will also ask you several questions:

  • Do you have symptoms?
  • Do you have a history of atrial fibrillation?
  • Do you have a history of fainting?
  • Do you have a history of sudden cardiac death or does anyone in your family?
  • Are you a competitive athlete?

The results of your diagnostic tests and the answers to these questions will help guide your therapy.

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