Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
Chest | Cardiology | Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) (Disease)
Tachycardia is a faster than normal heart rate. A healthy adult heart normally beats 60 to 100 times a minute when a person is at rest. If you have tachycardia, the rate in the upper chambers or lower chambers of the heart, or both, are increased significantly.
Heart rate is controlled by electrical signals sent across heart tissues. Tachycardia occurs when an abnormality in the heart produces rapid electrical signals.
In some cases, tachycardias may cause no symptoms or complications. However, tachycardias can seriously disrupt normal heart function, increase the risk of stroke, or cause sudden cardiac arrest or death.
Causes and Risk factors
Ventricular tachycardia is a pulse rate of more than 100 beats per minute, with at least three irregular heartbeats in a row. The condition can develop as an early or late complication of a heart attack. It may also occur in patients with cardiomyopathy, heart failure, heart surgery, myocarditis, valvular heart disease, ventricular tachycardia can occur without heart disease, scar tissue may form in the muscle of the ventricles days, months, or years after a heart attack. This can lead to ventricular tachycardia.
Ventricular tachycardia can also be caused by anti-arrhythmic medications, changes in blood chemistry (such as a low potassium level), changes in pH (acid-base), lack of enough oxygen
Torsade de pointes is a form of ventricular tachycardia that is often due to congenital heart disease or the use of certain medications.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Long-term treatment of ventricular tachycardia may require the use of oral anti-arrhythmic medications (such as procainamide, amiodarone, or sotalol). However, anti-arrhythmic medications may have severe side effects. Their use is decreasing in favor of other treatments.
Some ventricular tachycardias may be treated with an ablation procedure. Radiofrequency catheter ablation can cure certain tachycardias. A preferred treatment for many chronic (long-term) ventricular tachycardias consists of implanting a device called implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). The ICD is usually implanted in the chest, like a pacemaker. It is connected to the heart with wires. ...