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      Supraventricular tachycardia induced by swallowing: a case report and review of the literature.

      Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology

      Deglutition, Electrocardiography, Electrophysiology, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Tachycardia, Supraventricular, etiology

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          Abstract

          A 64-year-old man who complained of palpitations brought on by swallowing was found to have short runs of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) induced by swallowing. Electrophysiology studies suggested that the SVT was an automatic atrial tachycardia. An esophageal manometric study demonstrated that the tachycardia was coincident with relaxation of the upper esophageal spincter and preceded peristaltic activity in the esophageal body. Atropine and bethanechol did not affect the swallow-induced tachycardia. The patient's symptoms were controlled by verapamil and quinidine. After five months, these medications were discontinued, with no recurrence of symptoms. Based on analysis of ten prior cases and the present case, it appears that swallow-induced SVT generally occurs in men between the ages of 45-75 years who have no evidence of structural heart disease or an esophageal disorder. The SVT is usually either a nonsustained automatic atrial tachycardia or atrial fibrillation. The mechanism is conjectural, but the most likely possibility is a vagally-mediated neural reflex, probably involving a neurotransmitter other than acetylcholine.

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