Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm or an arrhythmia that originates in the heart's ventricles. In this condition, the heart beats abnormally fast, typically at a rate of 100 to 250 beats per minute.
In ventricular tachycardia, the electrical signals that control the heart's rhythm become disorganized, leading to rapid and irregular heartbeats. This can decrease blood flow to the body, causing symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Ventricular tachycardia can occur in people with underlying heart disease, such as a previous heart attack, cardiomyopathy, or congenital heart defects. It can also be caused by certain medications, electrolyte imbalances, or changes in the body's pH levels.
Diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia typically involves an electrocardiogram (ECG) and other tests to evaluate the heart's function and determine the underlying cause of the arrhythmia. Treatment may involve medications to control the heart rate and rhythm, such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or anti-arrhythmic drugs. In some cases, a procedure called catheter ablation may be performed to destroy the heart tissue causing the abnormal rhythm.
If left untreated, ventricular tachycardia can lead to more serious complications, such as ventricular fibrillation, which can cause sudden cardiac arrest and be life-threatening. Therefore, prompt evaluation and treatment are important for individuals with ventricular tachycardia to reduce the risk of complications and improve their long-term outlook.