Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome (WPW) is a disorder of the heart in which the ventricles of the heart contract prematurely due to an accessory pathway known as the bundle of Kent. This accessory pathway is an abnormal electrical communication from the atria to the ventricles. WPW is a type of atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia.
The incidence of WPW syndrome is between 0.1% and 0.3% of the general population.
While the majority of individuals with a bundle of Kent remain asymptomatic throughout their entire lives, there is a risk of sudden death associated with the syndrome. Sudden death due to WPW syndrome is rare (incidence of less than 0.6%), and is due to the accessory pathway disrupting the flow of electricity during tachyarrhythmias.