Ventricular Tachycardia

Your input helps shape an effective treatment plan.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief

Did you know your heart beats 40 million times each year? That’s a lot. The heart’s electrical system helps regulate these beats. Usually, the heart beats between 60 and 80 times per minute. But if you have ventricular tachycardia, your heart beats much faster—between 120 and 300 times per minute! This can be very dangerous and needs to be treated. 

The problem starts in the ventricles—the lower pumping chambers of your heart. As the heart races, these chambers may not completely fill with blood. If this happens, the heart can’t pump enough blood to the brain and the rest of the body. Because of this, you may not be able to maintain a normal blood pressure. That’s why some people with this condition will faint without warning. It can even lead to sudden cardiac death. Some people have palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath or sweat. Others have no symptoms at all.

There are many reasons why this heart rhythm disorder can develop, but you don’t have to have heart disease to have it. Treatment will depend on your symptoms. Stay in tune with your heart’s rhythm. Use this condition center to learn more about living with ventricular tachycardia. You can also read about the latest research, create a list of questions to ask your doctor and much more.

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