Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is a condition where the heart ventricles become pre-excited. In the normal heart beat, first the sinoatrial  (SA) node signals the atria of the the heart to contract, This is then followed by the atrioventricular (AV) node signalling the heart ventricles to contract. The electrical signal for this contraction travels from the SA node to the AV node via the electrical pathway of the bundle of  his.

In Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome another additional electrical pathway called the bundle of Kent allows for electrical signals to travel from the SA to the AV node. This will result in ventricular pre-excitation (the ventricles may become over stimulated) and paroxyomal reentrant tachycardia (raised heart rate).

Wolff-Parkinson-Whitesyndrome.jpg image by trimurtulu

The above white arrows shows the abnormal, additional electrical activity pathway to the ventricles  through the bundle of kent. In Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome the normal pathway of electrical activity is maintained and the additional electrical stimulus to the ventricles through the bundle of kent causes ventricular pre-excitation.

The above shows the pathway of normal electrical stimulus through the heart via the bundle of His. in red with numbering

This is a hereditary disease, with the affected gene being carried on chromosome 7, band q3.

MacRae et al. 1995. Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome Maps to a Locus on Chromosome 7q3. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 96: 1216-1220.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: