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Ventricular arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that originate in the bottom chambers of the heart called the ventricles. Ventricular arrhythmia may cause:
Sometimes problems with the heart's electrical signals lead to a fast heart rhythm. Too many signals may make the heart beat very fast (tachycardia). Or signals may be sent so rapidly and irregularly that the heart muscle sometimes quivers and doesn't beat at all (fibrillation).
There are several types of ventricular arrhythmia. They include:
Some people do not experience any symptoms. However, symptoms of a ventricular arrhythmia may include:
The doctor will listen to your heart with a stethoscope and feel your pulse. Your blood pressure may be low or normal. The following tests may be performed to identify arrhythmias:
If an arrhythmia is detected, various tests may be done to confirm or rule out suspected causes. EPS testing may be done to find the arrhythmia and determine the best treatment, especially if a pacemaker or catheter ablation procedure is being considered.
Urgent treatment may be required in some cases to restore a normal rhythm. This may include:
Some medications that may be used are:
Many supraventricular arrhythmias can be treated and cured with radiofrequency ablation which avoids the need for lifelong drug therapy.
VTs can be treated with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or with VT ablation.
Taking the following steps to prevent coronary artery disease may prevent the development of an arrhythmia:
At St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute, we offer a number of preventative health programs and tools for our patients. Find out more about how we can help you Stay Heart Healthy.
The likelihood of recovery from ventricular arrhythmia depends on several factors: