Ventricular tachycardia is a condition in which the ventricles (chambers) of the heart beat too fast. It is caused by disruption of the heart’s electrical flow with varying causes.
Ventricular tachycardia occurs when the lower chambers of the heart beat too fast and are out of sync with the movement of the heart’s atrium. As a result, the heart cannot pump blood effectively, so the body lacks oxygen.
Ventricular tachycardia causes
Ventricular tachycardia is caused by an electrical disturbance in the heart that controls the movement of the pump in the chambers or ventricles of the heart. It causes the chambers to beat too fast than usual, so that the blood pumped out of the heart decreases in number and the need for blood to all parts of the body cannot be met.
The cause of ventricular tachycardia cannot always be identified, but usually this condition is caused by a pre-existing heart disorder. The heart disorders in question include:
- Cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle
- Congenital heart defects.
In addition to the above causative factors, there are several types of ventricular tachycardia that are genetically inherited, namely:
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular tachycardia, which is tachycardia caused by rhythm disturbances in the right chamber of the heart.
- Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, which is tachycardia triggered by physical or emotional stress, without any abnormalities in the structure of the heart.
There are also several other things that can cause ventricular tachycardia, such as:
- Certain medications, such as decongestant drugs and drugs manage the body.
- Drug abuse, such as coca**ine.
- Excessive consumption of caffeine and alco**hol.
- Exercises that are too heavy.
Ventricular tachycardia symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms of ventricular tachycardia?
If your heart rate accelerates (palpitations) for only a few seconds, you may not feel anything wrong. If the condition lasts longer, you may notice your heart beating faster, or stopping for a split second. This type of change in heart rate is called palpitations. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Fainting (syncope).
There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. If you have concerns about certain symptoms, consult your doctor.
When should I see a doctor?
You should call your doctor or ambulance if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes
If you don’t experience these symptoms, but often feel your heart beating fast or irregularly, consult your doctor or nurse.
Each patient’s body shows varying signs and symptoms. To get the most appropriate treatment and in accordance with your health condition, make sure you always check whatever symptoms you experience to the nearest doctor or health care center.
Ventricular tachycardia treatment
The main focus of treatment of ventricular tachycardia is to improve heart rate and prevent the presence of subsequent episodes of ventricular tachycardia.
In an emergency, your doctor will perform some of these procedures to treat ventricular tachycardia through:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Antiarrhythmic drugs.
Treatment of ventricular tachycardia in the long term is done through the administration of oral antiarrhythmic drugs. However, these medications are not always prescribed because they can cause side effects.
The following are other options for treatment of ventricular tachycardia in the long term:
Cardioverter defibrillator implantation
This cardioverter defibrillator machine is implanted inside the chest or abdomen to correct abnormal heart rhythms.
Radio frequency ablation
The radio frequency ablation procedure will transmit electrical signals by radio waves to destroy abnormal tissues that cause rapid heartbeat.
Heart synchronization therapy
This procedure involves the installation of a device that helps regulate the heart rate in the patient.
Some of these treatments will usually be recommended by a doctor to deal with cases of ventricular tachycardia. The sooner it is done, the better the results of treatment.