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Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Apr 12;9:13. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-9-13.

Coincidence of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and panic disorder: two case reports.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Münster, Münster, Germany. katharina.domschke@ukmuenster.de


Panic disorder (PD) is characterised by sudden attacks of intense fear with somatic symptoms including palpitations and tachycardia. Reciprocally, palpitations caused by paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) are commonly associated with anxiety and may therefore be misdiagnosed as PD. As demonstrated by two case reports, PSVT and PD can occur comorbidly in a chronological sequence, with PSVT possibly precipitating and maintaining PD via interoceptive processes or, alternatively, with PD increasing the risk for PSVT by elevating stress levels. As both PSVT and PD require different treatments, potentially helpful differential clinical diagnostic criteria are proposed.

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