Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that starts in the heart's ventricles, the lower chambers that pump blood to the body. It is characterized by a rapid, regular heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.
Cause: The cause of VT is usually due to an underlying heart condition, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, or structural heart problems like heart valve disease. It can also be caused by an electrical problem with the heart, such as an abnormal conduction system or long QT syndrome. Certain medications, alcohol, and drug use can also trigger an episode of VT.
Symptoms: The most common symptom of VT is a rapid heart rate. Other symptoms may include dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, fainting, fatigue, and feeling like your heart is racing or skipping beats.
Treatment for VT depends on the type and cause of the arrhythmia. It may include medications to slow the heart rate or suppress the abnormal rhythm, such as beta-blockers or antiarrhythmic medications. Implantable devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators may be recommended in some cases. In some cases, ablation, a procedure that uses RF energy or a laser to destroy the abnormal electrical pathways in the heart, may be recommended.