Skip to main content

Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)

Ventricular tachycardia is an arrhythmia caused by abnormal electrical signals in the ventricles of the heart. If it lasts more than a few seconds at a time, it can become life threatening. It may also be called V-tach or VT. It most often occurs in patients with:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart failure
  • Heart surgery
  • Myocarditis
  • Valvular heart disease

VT can also be caused by:

  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • Changes in blood chemistry
  • Changes in pH
  • Lack of enough oxygen

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Syncope
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

Diagnosis

A Deborah Heart and Lung Center physician will look for:

  • Absent pulse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Normal or low blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse

Tests that may be used to detect ventricular tachycardia include:

  • Holter monitor
  • ECG
  • Intracardiac electrophysiology study
  • Rhythm monitoring with a loop recorder or device