Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates
Electrophysiology & Cardiology located in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Suncity, Dewey & Prescott Valley, AZ
Ventricular tachycardia is one of the most dangerous arrhythmias as it can cause sudden cardiac death. You can receive effective treatment for ventricular tachycardia from Akash Makkar, MD, and Mohamad Abdelrahman, MD, at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates. They provide advanced treatment options such as cardiac ablation with electrical mapping. To learn more about your treatment options, schedule an appointment online or call one of the offices in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Sun City, Dewey, or Prescott Valley, Arizona, today.
Ventricular Tachycardia Q & A
What is ventricular tachycardia?
Ventricular tachycardia occurs when the lower chambers of your heart — the left and right ventricles — beat faster than normal, typically from 150-250 beats per minute. By comparison, a normal heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute.
Ventricular tachycardia can be so rapid that your heart can’t pump blood out to your body. When it lasts longer than a few seconds, the condition can become life-threatening.
What causes ventricular tachycardia?
Ventricular tachycardia develops when the heart’s normal electrical signals are disrupted. This problem often occurs due to damaged or inflamed muscles, although it can also develop in a structurally sound heart.
Your risk of developing ventricular tachycardia is higher if you have:
- Heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Abnormal heart valves
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Prior heart attack
Medical conditions, such as lupus and amyloidosis, can also lead to ventricular tachycardia.
What symptoms develop if I have ventricular tachycardia?
Some people with ventricular tachycardia don’t have symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
When you have a sustained episode lasting longer than 30 minutes, you can faint or suffer sudden cardiac arrest.
How is ventricular tachycardia diagnosed and treated?
To properly diagnose ventricular tachycardia, Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates may perform one or more tests, such as an electrocardiogram or electrophysiology studies. You may also need to wear a Holter monitor to monitor your heart for several days.
Once your condition is diagnosed, your provider may recommend treatments to restore a normal heart rate and prevent future episodes. Treatments for ventricular tachycardia include:
Medications such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers can slow down ventricular tachycardia.
After mapping your heart’s electrical system and identifying the source of your ventricular tachycardia, your provider may perform radiofrequency ablation. They use a narrow catheter to transmit radiofrequency energy, precisely scarring the tissues triggering your ventricular tachycardia. The scar tissue then blocks the abnormal electrical signals and returns your heart rate to normal.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a device that’s implanted in your chest or heart. When it detects tachycardia, the ICD sends out an electric impulse to restore a stable heartbeat. In addition to stabilizing your heart rate, an ICD also prevents a sudden heart attack.
If you need treatment for ventricular tachycardia, call Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates or schedule an appointment online today.
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