Ventricular Tachycardia


“V Tach” is defined as 3+ successive complexes in duration originating in the ventricle at a rate of greater than 100 bpm (cycle length, less than 60 msec). (5)
Many things can precipitate ventricular tachycardia including, but not limited to, myocardial infarctions, Brugada Syndrome, adverse drug reactions, stress, long QT syndrome, hypertrophy of the left heart, electrolyte imbalances, ischemia, hypoxia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Presentation of a patient with V Tach may include hypotension, tachyarrhythmia, dizziness, abnormal heart sounds, palpitations, and syncope. They may also present with signs of TIA and/or stroke, if they have embolized a mural (or other) thrombus in the heart.
Ventricular tachycardia is potentially life threatening and is rarely ever benign. The most common setting for V Tach is ischemic heart disease, in which myocardial scar is the substrate for electrical reentry. Any atherosclerotic process in the vessels and heart increases the chances of a patient to present in ventricular tachycardia.
Approximately 300,000 deaths per year in the USA alone are attributed to complications of V Tach.(14)

From the Framingham study, it was shown that men are more likely to die from V Tach than women (46%-34%). (15)

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