The most common symptom of VT are palpitations described as a rapid heartbeat. In VT this is often associated with dizziness, breathlessness or chest tightness and in some cases can cause blackouts or be the cause of a cardiac arrest. Presentation with VT is often a medical emergency and patients need specialist treatment immediately as the condition can be life threatening.
If you have VT or suspected VT, your cardiologist will want to perform an ECG, an echocardiogram and ambulatory ECG monitoring. In many cases further tests to delineate the underlying cause will be necessary including cardiac magnetic resonance imaging or coronary angiography. In some cases patients may need to be admitted to hospital to safely complete investigation and treatment.
There are a number of different approaches to the treatment of VTs which can to be tailored to your individual circumstances.
In patients with a structurally normal heart, the first line of treatment for VT is medication. These types of VTs are potentially curable with a small operation called catheter ablation and for patients who are experiencing frequent symptoms, despite medication, this is the treatment of choice.
In patients with structurally abnormal hearts, along with medication, it may be necessary to treat the fast heartbeats with an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) as these rhythms may be potentially life threatening. For patients who continue to have symptoms despite these measures, catheter ablation may be necessary. This is a very complex area and requires the expertise of a Consultant Electrophysiology Cardiologist.
This procedure prevents faulty electrical impulses being sent within the heart. [READ MORE]
This scan is used to ascertain the risk of a heart attack or stroke within the next 5-10 years. [READ MORE]
An ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function. [READ MORE]
An ECG is a simple test that looks at the electrical activity of the heart. [READ MORE]
This monitoring measures the electrical activity of your heart over a longer period than an ECG. [READ MORE]
This study analyses the heart's electrical activity and is used to diagnose the cause of abnormal heartbeats. [READ MORE]
Monitors are used to provide a prolonged record of a heart’s operation and symptoms. [READ MORE]
This test measures the effects on the heart rhythm and blood pressure when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]
This is an artificial device implanted in the chest to detect and correct a potentially dangerous heartbeat. [READ MORE]
This device records a heart’s rhythm continuously for up to two years. [READ MORE]
These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]
This is an artificial device that is implanted in the chest to regulate an abnormal heartbeat. [READ MORE]
This procedure helps block the electrical signals that cause an abnormal or life-threatening rapid heartbeat. [READ MORE]