• Arrhythmias are when the heart is beating irregularly due to electrical impulses of the heart malfunctioning. The most common arrhythmias during pregnancy are premature atrial or ventricular complexes. Neither of these are harmful during pregnancy and do not require antiarrhythmic treatment [1].
  • Supraventricular tachyarrhythmia (SVT) is also common and often diagnosed with the aid of an event or Holter monitor [1]. Holter monitors are frequently used at our office locations, so stop by to asses your heart function during pregnancy!
  • SVT is a series of rapid heartbeats that begin in the atria. Three major types are atrial fibrillation, Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), and atrial flutter. SVT can cause the heart to beat inefficiently and reduce the ability of the heart to supply an adequate amount of blood to the body. Patients that have this condition during pregnancy should be observed after delivery [2].
  • Arrhythmias are one of the most common reasons for cardiac consultation during pregnancy. Fortunately, these arrhythmias are usually benign [3].

Treatment [3]:

  • Limiting consumption of caffeine
  • Cessation of smoking
  • Antiarrhythmic drug therapy when patients are symptomatic
    • Ones that have been shown to be safe during pregnancy are: digoxin, quinidine, procainamide, some beta-blocking drugs and lidocaine


  1. Naderi, S, Raymond R. Pregnancy and heart disease. Dis manag. 2014. http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/cardiology/pregnancy-and-heart-disease/.
  2. Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/conditions_treatments/conditions/supraventricular_tachycardia.html. Accessed July, 2017.
  3. Rotmensch HH, Rotmensch S, Elkayam U. Management of cardiac arrhythmias during pregnancy. Current concepts. Drugs. 1987; 33(6): 623-33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3301303.

By: Stephanie Kramer