He will need regular visits to his healthcare provider, but repeat electrophysiology studies are generally not necessary, unless the problem comes back after the initial treatment. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to his healthcare provider.
Jackson, MS (Vocus) October 31, 2009
Middle Line Backer Jared Ferguson of Centre College in Kentucky felt his heart racing after playing Millsaps College homecoming game on Saturday, October 24, 2009.
"I had been feeling feverish before playing, but I played the whole game," Ferguson said. "Then I collapsed."
Ferguson was brought to Baptist Medical Center Emergency Department where it was discovered he had a rare heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. This syndrome is a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia) caused by a conduction abnormality in the heart. One to three per 1,000 people suffer from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome worldwide.
He was transferred from the ER to the new Baptist Cardiovascular Center where Cardiac Electrophysiologist B. Judson Colley, III, MD and Cardiologist James L. Warnock, Jr., MD began treating him.
"Apparently, I have had this all my life and didn't know it," Ferguson added. "I had one other incident when I was playing football in the eighth grade. We thought it was just heat exhaustion."
In a normal heart, electrical signals use only one path when they move through the heart. This is the atrio-ventricular or A-V node. As the electrical signal moves from the heart's upper chambers (the atria) to the lower chambers (the ventricles), it causes the heart to beat. For the heart to beat properly, the timing of the electrical signal is important. If there's an extra conduction pathway, the electrical signal may arrive at the ventricles too soon. This condition is called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW).
Symptoms for this syndrome include dizziness, chest palpitations, fainting and sometimes cardiac arrest. It's recognized by certain changes on the electrocardiogram, which is a graphical record of the heart's electrical activity. The ECG will show that an extra pathway or shortcut exists from the atria to the ventricles.
"Medications can be used to stop an arrhythmia by interrupting or slowing the abnormal electrical activity in the heart," said Dr. Colley. "Sometimes such medical treatment is ineffective. Electrophysiology study with ablation is a more definite treatment with a possible cure for this abnormal heart rhythm."
In this case, it was determined a more specialized test, known as an electrophysiology study, should be performed. A radio frequency ablation procedure was performed by catheter to eliminate the abnormal pathway. Once the pathway was removed, no electrical activity will be conducted in the area of the heart tissue that is triggering the arrhythmia. This eliminates the problem of potential fast or irregular heart rates.
Dr. Colley added that after Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome is effectively treated, the person should be able to carry out normal activities. "He will need regular visits to his healthcare provider, but repeat electrophysiology studies are generally not necessary, unless the problem comes back after the initial treatment. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to his healthcare provider."
About Baptist Health Systems:
Baptist Health Systems is the parent company of Baptist Medical Center, The Mississippi Hospital for Restorative Care and a number of related healthcare services and programs. For over 100 years, Baptist Medical Center has served Mississippi and the surrounding states as a Christian-based, non-profit comprehensive medical Center.
From its beginnings in 1908, Baptist has grown to include a medical center providing comprehensive services for people in every stage of life. The 500+ members of Baptist's medical staff represent more than 85 medical specialties.
Baptist Medical Center has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval ™ and has achieved Disease-Specific Care Certification from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) in the areas of cancer services, acute coronary syndrome and outpatient diabetes. Additionally, Baptist was the first organization in the United States to earn this distinction for an entire cancer program.
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