Almost any kind of arrhythmia that a patient is experiencing merits a closer inspection. But if there’s one form that should certainly because of immediate, none could arguably be more vital than accurately and actively diagnosing and treating cases of ventricular tachycardia.
What is Ventricular Tachycardia?
Tachycardia essentially means the heart is beating at an uncommonly fast rate. However, if it centralized in or occurs primarily in the ventricles of the heart then it’s categorized as ventricular tachycardia. The ventricles are two chambers located at the lower portion of the heart. Usually, ventricular tachycardia involves having heartbeats that occur at 100 beats (or more) per minute. During intervals in beating, there will usually be an irregular heartbeat that occurs thrice or more in a row.
As in most forms of arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia often arises from an abnormality in the way the heart is sending electrical signals that control your heart rate. The fast heartbeat causes the heart to contract prematurely, even before the ventricles have filled up with the proper amount of blood. This results in less than normal blood levels being pumped to the vital parts and organs of the body.
A scenario like this raises the risk of syncope and even potentially life-threatening conditions like heart disease and stroke. With that said, ventricular tachycardia is certainly considered by most doctors as one of the more dangerous forms of tachycardia that a patient can have. This fact should be enough to convince patients to actively seek medical advise for it and consider treatment to prevent any possibility of succumbing to the said life-threatening conditions.
Types of Ventricular Tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia can be further subdivided into four types, which believe the nature and severity of the condition. Each type is usually determined by factors such as duration (how long the episode lasted), morphology (pattern of the heartbeat), and hemodynamic effect (how it impacts the way the heart distributes blood to the rest of the body.) Here they are as follows:
- Sustained Ventricular Tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia is classified as sustained if it occurs for more than 30 seconds and it largely impacts blood flow, causing it to decrease substantially.
- Nonsustained Ventricular Tachycardia
This is the case if the tachycardia only occurs for a moment and stops abruptly. It doesn’t cause any harmful effects on the regular blood flow of the body.
- Monomorphic Ventricular Tachycardia
This type is termed as such because each successive fast heartbeat is uniform.
- Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia
The opposite of the one mentioned above, polymorphic types simply means the quick heartbeats are irregular and vary in nature.
What are the Symptoms of Ventricular Tachycardia?
Since it is a condition that mainly involves the heart, this type of tachycardia’s symptoms mirrors that of other heart conditions. Patients with ventricular tachycardia, for instance, are more prone to syncope or feeling of fainting. Dizziness is also a very common symptom felt. Some patients may even feel pains radiating in their chest as well as breathing problems. Others report feeling more fatigued than usual.
Why Cardiac Monitoring Services are Vital for Patients with Ventricular Tachycardia?
The first challenge that doctors have to overcome when facing this kind of condition is an accurate diagnosis. This is the only way to ensure the type of treatment the patient should receive for his or her specific condition. As said above, there are numerous types of ventricular tachycardia, and some of them are benign while others could pose a serious threat to a patient’s well-being.
With that said, it has to be made clear from the outset whether the arrhythmia that the patient has might produce events that could potentially lead to dangerous conditions. Ventricular tachycardia is one such arrhythmia, emphasizing the need for more advanced and accurate diagnostic tools.
With the help of Holter monitoring services, this obstacle can easily be addressed. While this kind of Tachycardia can also be diagnosed using more conventional means like an ECG or a cardiac MRI, these two simply don’t compare to the accuracy that a Holter monitor has when diagnosing such conditions.
For one, the other tools are just a one-time diagnostic attempt that ignores the fact that the heart enters various stages of working on a 24-hour basis. This leads to the ventricular tachycardia evading diagnosis, as the patient’s heart is only of a single state during the time of testing. What if the tachycardia only occurs when certain conditions are met? This is true in the case of sustained or nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, to be exact.
Highlighting the Advantage of Remote Heart Monitoring Solutions for Ventricular Tachycardia
When you use a Holter monitoring service, you will be asked to keep a Holter monitor attached to your body for a longer amount of time (usually 24 hours but some doctors recommend lengthier testing times). Most of these monitors also incorporate event monitors that are immediately able to pinpoint the exact time that a tachycardia occurs and stops and immediately proceeds to record and transmit it for accurate reporting.
This kind of data is very vital for cardiac doctors to easily and accurately make their diagnoses. It also provides them with information on what the heart’s state was during and after the ventricular tachycardia manifested itself. It’s able to cover all parts of the heart with great surveillance, and it can certainly immediately detect whether something is wrong with the heart’s ventricles and the way the heart is beating and contracting as it attempts to maintain blood flow to the body.
Ventricular tachycardia is a volatile condition that may or may not directly influence the risks of sudden cardiac death or stroke. This uncertainty is what makes the condition such a distressing ailment to have. Regardless of what type you have the moment your diagnosis is confirmed, you shouldn’t hesitate to start proactively working with your doctor to treat and manage it. Diagnosis, after all, is just the first step. This is the only way for you to lessen the likelihood of it ever bringing about the major conditions connected to it that could result in premature and highly preventable death.
Sathya Kumar is the Founder & CEO of Cardiac Rhythm .Cardiac Rhythm’s biosensor is an unobtrusive, easy to use the device for the patient’s long-term Holter monitoring, cardiac ECG monitoring and real-time mobile cardiac telemetry monitoring. The innovative, portable biosensor remotely monitors the health of patients and provides physicians with deeper clinical-grade data insights.