The heart’s electrical system conducts electrical impulses between the upper and lower chamber to keep the heart beating regularly and pump blood through our bodies. However, as with any electrical system, sometimes things don’t work exactly as they should. Occasionally a pathway that isn’t normally there is formed, which basically creates an electrical “short circuit” that causes an abnormally rapid heartbeat, or arrhythmia. This is usually caused by a condition present at birth.
In this white board session, Patrick J. Tchou, MD, Associate Section Head of the Section of Electrophysiology and Cardiac Pacing in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, explains how and why this happens.