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V-tach (Ventricular Tachycardia)

Ventricular Tachycardia (V-tach)
Pronunciation: Ven-tric-u-lar Tach-y-car-di-a (věn-trĭk’yə-lər tak-i-KAHR-dee-uh)

Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach) is a type of rapid heartbeat that originates from the heart’s lower chambers, known as the ventricles. While it can be life-threatening, particularly if sustained, there are treatments and interventions to manage the condition.

What is Ventricular Tachycardia?

V-tach is a fast, irregular heart rate that, if left untreated, can lead to V-fib (ventricular fibrillation) and sudden cardiac arrest. It’s characterized by a series of early heartbeats originating in the ventricles.

Key Facts About Ventricular Tachycardia:

  • It can be categorized as sustained (lasting more than 30 seconds) or non-sustained.
  • V-tach can occur without heart disease or as a result of it.
  • Symptoms may include dizziness, fainting, palpitations, and shortness of breath.
  • Immediate medical attention is crucial.

Ventricular Tachycardia | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of Ventricular Tachycardia?
Symptoms can include:

  • Light-headedness or dizziness.
  • Palpitations.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fainting (syncope).
  • In some cases, there may be no symptoms.

What causes Ventricular Tachycardia?
Factors and conditions that can lead to V-tach include:

  • Previous heart attacks or heart disease.
  • Congenital heart defects.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • Certain medications and drug toxicity.
  • Lack of adequate blood flow to the heart.

Ventricular Tachycardia | Diagnosis & Treatments

How is Ventricular Tachycardia diagnosed?
Diagnostic procedures include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): Measures the heart’s electrical activity.
  • Holter monitor: A portable ECG device worn for a day or more.
  • Event recorder: Monitors heart rhythms over a longer time.
  • Electrophysiological test: A test to stimulate and identify irregular heartbeats.

How is Ventricular Tachycardia treated?
Treatment options depend on the type of V-tach and its cause:

  1. Antiarrhythmic medications: To maintain a regular heart rhythm.
  2. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD): A device implanted in the chest that detects irregular heartbeats and delivers electric shocks when needed.
  3. Catheter ablation: A procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to destroy problematic heart tissue.
  4. Cardioversion: Electric shocks administered to the heart to restore a normal rhythm.


  1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2021). Arrhythmia. Retrieved from