Ventricular tachycardia, or VT, is a type of abnormal heartbeat in which your heart beats too fast. Accessing Ventricular Tachycardia treatment quickly is important so the best possible outcome is achieved.
The type of treatment you have will depend on how serious your ventricular tachycardia is and what’s causing it.
Most people who get VT have already had some problems with their heart. This might be a previous heart attack or heart muscle disease, or cardiomyopathy.
What is Ventricular Tachycardia?
Your heartbeat is controlled by electrical signals. These travel through your heart and make it contract. In ventricular tachycardia, faulty electrical signals cause your heart to beat faster than normal.
A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 times a minute. If you have ventricular tachycardia, it beats over 100 times per minute. It can often reach more than 120 times per minute. Although your heart might be beating faster, the blood is not being pumped around efficiently. This is because the ventricles do not have enough tie between beats to fill up with blood so your heart does not pump enough blood to the rest of your body.
Attacks of ventricular tachycardia can sometimes stop on their own after a few seconds (non-sustained). But if it carries on for longer than 30 seconds (sustained ventricular tachycardia), you may need treatment to stop it.
Ventricular Tachycardia Consultation
How you describe your symptoms will often help narrow down the possibilities. However, correlation of your symptoms with an electrocardiogram (ECG) recording is essential to an accurate diagnosis. If you already have an ECG during symptoms, please bring a copy with you to your initial consultation.
A resting ECG can often provide a clue to the diagnosis even when recorded in the absence of any symptoms. Patients with a normal resting ECG are unlikely to have a dangerous rhythm abnormality. The likelihood of this is even less if the heart is normal. A simple ultrasound scan of the heart (echocardiogram) can detect many structural abnormalities.
If your ECG test shows you have ventricular tachycardia, further tests may include blood tests, echocardiogram, chest x-ray or MRI scan.
Ventricular Tachycardia Treatment
Electrical cardioversion is an electric shock that can be used to restore a normal heart rate. Antiarrhythmic medicine, such as amiodarone can be administered through a drip in your arm. An alternative may be to look at gently guiding a thin tube through a vein to your heart to give electrical impulses to control your heartbeat.
There are other, long-term treatments that may be available but individual patients, circumstances and medical history are all varied so this would depend on your case.
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment please contact Dr David Begley’s Private Secretary.