Ventricular Tachycardia

Ventricular tachycardia is an abnormal heart rhythm that happens when you have abnormal electrical signals in your heart’s lower chambers (ventricles). These keep normal heartbeat signals from getting through & make your heart beat so fast that it can’t pump enough blood to lớn your body. Treatments include ablation & an implanted defibrillator.

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An EKG showing ventricular tachycardia, a heart rate that’s too fast.

What is ventricular tachycardia?

Ventricular tachycardia is a heart rate higher than 120 beats per minute that starts in your heart’s two lower chambers (ventricles), rather than from the normal electrical pathway.

A normal resting heart rate is 60 to lớn 100 beats per minute.

During an episode of ventricular tachycardia, your heart is beating so fast that:

Your heart can’t pump enough oxygen lớn every part of your body.You start to have symptoms.

Is ventricular tachycardia serious?

Yes, it is serious và requires urgent treatment. If ventricular tachycardia lasts more than 30 seconds (called sustained ventricular tachycardia), it can lead to ventricular fibrillation & sudden cardiac death.

Ventricular tachycardia vs. Ventricular fibrillation

Both are abnormal heart rhythms, but ventricular fibrillation is more severe. With ventricular tachycardia, fast heartbeats keep your heart from sending enough blood khổng lồ your tissues & cells.

When your heart muscles are fibrillating (twitching), they aren’t pumping blood to lớn your body at all. This causes sudden cardiac death.

Can ventricular tachycardia go away?

Yes, it can go away in some cases. It can last just a few seconds before your heart rhythm goes back to lớn normal.

Ventricular tachycardia risk factors

You’re more likely lớn have this condition if you:

Have a history of heart disease.Have a family history of heart rhythm issues.Have severe electrolyte abnormalities.Use stimulant drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamines.

How does ventricular tachycardia affect body?

When you have ventricular tachycardia, less blood than normal goes khổng lồ your cells & tissues. This is because your fast heartbeats don’t allow enough time for your heart chambers to lớn fill up before the next beat. It’s lượt thích a bus that stops so briefly at a bus stop that it leaves people behind because there isn’t time for everyone to board.

Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms?

Seek emergency help immediately to avoid the risk of cardiac arrest and death if you have these symptoms of a potentially fatal ventricular tachycardia:

Difficulty breathing.Palpitations/rapid pulse.Dizziness, lightheadedness, or passing out.

What causes ventricular tachycardia?

When you have abnormal electrical signals in your ventricles (lower chambers of your heart), they get in the way of normal signals from your sinoatrial node that usually controls your heart rate. This creates a heart rate so fast that your heart’s chambers don’t have enough time to fill between beats.

Most people with ventricular tachycardia have another heart problem that caused it, such as:

Coronary artery disease.Heart failure.Heart valve disease.Previous heart attack (baoninhsunrise.comocardial infarction) or heart surgery that made scar tissue on your heart.Sarcoidosis.Certain inherited conditions.

Ventricular tachycardia causes unrelated khổng lồ your heart include:

Medications.Too much caffeine or alcohol.Recreational drugs.Exercise.

Sometimes the cause is unknown.

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What is the most common cause of ventricular tachycardia?

Ischemic heart disease is the most common cause. This is also known as coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease. It means your heart muscle can’t get enough blood và oxygen because of blockages in the coronary arteries. This usually happens because of atherosclerosis.

Diagnosis & Tests

How is ventricular tachycardia diagnosed?

To diagnose ventricular tachycardia, your healthcare provider will:

Talk with you about your symptoms.Perform a physical exam that includes checking your pulse.Collect your medical history.Order tests.

What tests will be done lớn diagnose ventricular tachycardia?

An electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), which records your heart’s electrical activity, is the most common test for diagnosing ventricular tachycardia.

Other tests may include:

Cardiac event monitor.Blood tests.

Management & Treatment

How is ventricular tachycardia treated?

You need treatment for ventricular tachycardia when you have symptoms or when you have it for more than 30 seconds (with or without symptoms).

Treatment for ventricular tachycardia involves managing any disease that causes the condition. These treatments may improve the abnormal heart rhythm or prevent it from returning.

In emergency situations, treatments for ventricular tachycardia may include:

IV medications.

Nonemergency treatment for ventricular tachycardia usually includes:

Medications: Medications can slow your heart rate & attempt to lớn maintain a normal rhythm. Some medications are associated with serious side effects, which your doctor will reviews with you prior khổng lồ prescription.Complications of the treatment

Although ablation of ventricular tachycardia has a long history of safety và success, complications can sometimes happen. Complications may include:

Damage khổng lồ your heart or blood vessel.Bleeding.Infection.

How long does it take to lớn recover from this treatment?

You can expect khổng lồ stay at least one night in the hospital after ventricular tachycardia ablation. Usually, you can go back to lớn regular activities within a few days of leaving the hospital. However, you shouldn’t vày heavy physical tasks or workouts for at least three days, or as directed by your healthcare provider.


How can I reduce risk?

Avoiding the heart problems that cause ventricular tachycardia may lower your risk of getting it.

You can protect yourself from coronary artery disease, the most common cause of ventricular tachycardia, in these ways:

Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet.Exercise often.Stay at a healthy weight.Stop using all tobacco products.

Outlook / Prognosis

What can I expect if I have ventricular tachycardia?

Your prognosis depends on how bad your ventricular tachycardia is & whether you have an additional heart issue. The prognosis is worse if your left ventricle doesn’t work well.

Can ventricular tachycardia be cured?

It depends on the underlying cause. For some people, radiofrequency catheter ablation completely cures the abnormal rhythm, and no other treatment is needed. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), while not a cure, are highly effective at treating life-threatening ventricular tachycardia by delivering rapid pacing or a shock lớn restore normal rhythm.

Living With

How bởi I take care of baoninhsunrise.comself?

To care for yourself with ventricular tachycardia, you can:

Follow a heart-healthy diet and exercise plan that your healthcare team recommends for you.Stop using tobacco products.Keep taking medications your healthcare provider prescribed for you.

When should I see healthcare provider?

It’s important to keep your appointments for regular follow-ups. Your provider will want to:

See how you’re doing.Make sure your treatment is working.Talk about any symptoms or changes in how you feel.When should I go to lớn the ER?

Call 911 if you have these symptoms:

Chest pain.Fainting.Fast and abnormal pulse.

What questions should I ask doctor?

How often vì chưng I need follow-up appointments?Do I need an ICD?Will I need khổng lồ have catheter ablation again?

A cảnh báo from Cleveland Clinic

Being aware of your heart rate và how you’re feeling can help you lớn know when to lớn seek care. Prompt treatment is important for ventricular tachycardia, so don’t delay getting help for yourself or a loved one. After you leave the hospital, be sure to lớn follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Keep taking any medicines they prescribed for you và start putting changes in place for a healthier way of life. Be sure to lớn go khổng lồ all follow-up appointments, especially if you received a medical device as part of your treatment.