10 doctors weighed in:

In terms of symptoms, are there any differences between SVT and atrial fibrillation?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Very Different

SVT is often sudden, limited duration, and can cause a drop in blood pressure sufficient to make someone dizzy or even faint.
SVT does not increase risk of stroke and doesn't require anticoagulation. Whereas a-fib can be asymptomatic and increases the risk of stroke. A-fib usually occurs in older patients and exertional shortness of breath is the usual symptom. Both require evaluation & treatment.

In brief: Very Different

SVT is often sudden, limited duration, and can cause a drop in blood pressure sufficient to make someone dizzy or even faint.
SVT does not increase risk of stroke and doesn't require anticoagulation. Whereas a-fib can be asymptomatic and increases the risk of stroke. A-fib usually occurs in older patients and exertional shortness of breath is the usual symptom. Both require evaluation & treatment.
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Thank
Dr. Volkan Tuzcu
Pediatrics - Cardiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: SVT

atrial fibrillation is a form of SVT.
Some people with art fib may not even feel it, but other types of SVT s are almost always symptomatic.

In brief: SVT

atrial fibrillation is a form of SVT.
Some people with art fib may not even feel it, but other types of SVT s are almost always symptomatic.
Dr. Volkan Tuzcu
Dr. Volkan Tuzcu
Thank
Dr. R. Kannan Mutharasan
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Very similar

The symptoms of both of these can be very similar: skipped heart beats, extra heart beats, and possibly lightheadedness.
If you are really good at taking a pulse, you can figure out if it is regular (SVT) or irregular (atrial fib) - but this is really hard when the heart is going fast.

In brief: Very similar

The symptoms of both of these can be very similar: skipped heart beats, extra heart beats, and possibly lightheadedness.
If you are really good at taking a pulse, you can figure out if it is regular (SVT) or irregular (atrial fib) - but this is really hard when the heart is going fast.
Dr. R. Kannan Mutharasan
Dr. R. Kannan Mutharasan
Thank
Dr. Shamail Tariq
Internal Medicine - Cardiology

In brief: Yes

SVT is a regular tachycardia and somewhat transient and discrete while a fib is usually a constant but irregular arrhythmia, but everybody may perceive things differently.

In brief: Yes

SVT is a regular tachycardia and somewhat transient and discrete while a fib is usually a constant but irregular arrhythmia, but everybody may perceive things differently.
Dr. Shamail Tariq
Dr. Shamail Tariq
Thank
Dr. Julie Abbott
Preventive Medicine

In brief: Probably a bit

With SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) you are likely to feel dizzy or light-headed, and a sense of very rapid/racing heartbeat.
With atrial fibrillation, the palpations may feel more like fluttering, there may just be an awareness that your heart is beating, chest pain/discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue or lack of energy. You might not be sure your heart is the problem with AF!

In brief: Probably a bit

With SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) you are likely to feel dizzy or light-headed, and a sense of very rapid/racing heartbeat.
With atrial fibrillation, the palpations may feel more like fluttering, there may just be an awareness that your heart is beating, chest pain/discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue or lack of energy. You might not be sure your heart is the problem with AF!
Dr. Julie Abbott
Dr. Julie Abbott
Thank
Dr. James Rochester
Family Medicine

In brief: Sometimes

Some people can have atrial fibrillation and no symptoms.
Most patients have symptoms with SVT. Hope this was helpful. Dr. R

In brief: Sometimes

Some people can have atrial fibrillation and no symptoms.
Most patients have symptoms with SVT. Hope this was helpful. Dr. R
Dr. James Rochester
Dr. James Rochester
Thank
Read more answers from doctors