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January 24, 1977

Tachyarrhythmias in Wolff-Parkinson-White SyndromeAntiarrhythmic Drug Therapy

JAMA. 1977;237(4):376-379. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270310060012

EVERY physician should be fully familiar with the Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome because it is frequently associated with the various ectopic tachyarrhythmias. In addition, the electrocardiographic findings in the WPW syndrome may closely resemble many other abnormalities that are frequently misinterpreted in our daily practice. The WPW syndrome was first recognized as a clinical entity by Wolff et al,1 in 1930. The ECG findings, which were later considered to be characteristic of this syndrome, were described by Wilson2 in 1915, and by Wedd3 in 1921. The tachyarrhythmias may occur at any time and may begin at birth or during infancy, childhood, or adult life. Sixty percent to 70% of the cases with WPW syndrome have been encountered in healthy individuals without organic heart disease.4

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome can be diagnosed by the surface 12-lead electrocardiogram, the His bundle electrogram, or vectorcardiogram. The typical ECG findings include a short