Ventricular Tachycardia

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Ventricular tachycardia is when abnormal electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart cause the heart to beat either too fast or too slow. This does not allow the heart to properly fill with blood so the heart cannot pump enough blood to the vital organs.

Causes:

Ventricular tachycardia is caused by a disruption in the electrical impulses that control when the heart pumps. Things that can contribute to a disruption in the electrical impulses in the heart include

  • Scarring of heart tissue
  • Poor blood flow to the heart from coronary artery disease
  • Medication side effects
  • Drugs

Symptoms:

The symptoms of ventricular tachycardia will vary depending on the length of the episodes. Symptoms for ventricular tachycardia include

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Racing heart
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cardiac arrest

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose ventricular tachycardia. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Holter monitor
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Coronary angiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Stress test

Treatments:

The goals of treatment for ventricular tachycardia are to restore a normal heart rhythm, control the fast heart rate, and to prevent future episodes. The doctor may suggest the following treatment methods

  • Medications
  • Catheter ablation
  • ICD
  • Surgery

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