Ventricular Tachycardia

A disorder characterized by an electrocardiographic finding of three or more consecutive complexes of ventricular origin with a rate greater than a certain threshold (100 or 120 beats per minute are commonly used). The QRS complexes are wide and have an abnormal morphology. (CDISC)

Symptoms of Ventricular Tachycardia

The following features are indicative of Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • chest discomfort (angina)
  • fainting (syncope)
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of consciousness
  • cardiac arrest

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Common Causes of Ventricular Tachycardia

The following are the most common causes of Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • cardiomyopathy
  • heart failure
  • heart surgery
  • myocarditis
  • valvular heart disease
  • changes in blood chemistry

Other Causes of Ventricular Tachycardia

The following are the less common causes of Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • changes in pH (acid-base)
  • lack of enough oxygen

Risk Factors for Ventricular Tachycardia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • family history
  • heart disease such as prior heart attack, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, inflammatory diseases of the heart or genetic conditions
  • use of recreational drugs
  • medication side effects
  • severe electrolyte abnormalities

Prevention of Ventricular Tachycardia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Ventricular Tachycardia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • exercise and eat a healthy diet
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control
  • stop smoking
  • drink in moderation
  • don't use recreational drugs
  • use over-the-counter medications with caution
  • limit caffeine
  • control stress
  • go to scheduled checkups

Occurrence of Ventricular Tachycardia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Ventricular Tachycardia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Rare between 10K - 50K cases

Common Age Group

Ventricular Tachycardia can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Ventricular Tachycardia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Ventricular Tachycardia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • Electrocardiogram: To detect the electrical activity of heart
  • Holter monitor: To record heart's activity
  • Event monitor: To check the heart rhythm at the time of symptoms
  • Echocardiogram: To produce images of heart's size
  • structure and motion
  • Implantable loop recorder: To detect the abnormal heart rhythms

Doctor for Diagnosis of Ventricular Tachycardia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • Cardiologist

Complications of Ventricular Tachycardia if untreated

Yes, Ventricular Tachycardia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Ventricular Tachycardia is left untreated:
  • inability of the heart to pump enough blood (heart failure)
  • frequent fainting spells or unconsciousness
  • sudden death caused by cardiac arrest

Procedures for Treatment of Ventricular Tachycardia

The following procedures are used to treat Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • Surgery: Open-heart surgery to treat ventricular tachycardia

Self-care for Ventricular Tachycardia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Ventricular Tachycardia:
  • Eat heart-healthy foods: Intake low low-fat diet such rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains may reduce the heart disease risk
  • Exercise regularly: To reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Quit smoking: Smoke increase heart problem
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control: To prevent heart disease
  • Limit caffeine: High caffeine consumption can increase the risk of heart disease

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Ventricular Tachycardia.

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