Ventricular Tachycardia and Sudden Cardiac Death

Koplan, Bruce A.; Stevenson, William G.
March 2009
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Mar2009, Vol. 84 Issue 3, p289
Academic Journal
Ventricular tachycardia (VT), which most commonly occurs in patients with structural heart disease, can be associated with an increased risk of sudden death. The most common cause of ventricular fibrillation is acute coronary ischemia, whereas a myocardial scar from prior infarct is the most common cause of sustained monomorphic VT in patients with structural heart disease. More benign forms of idiopathic VT can also occur in the absence of structural heart disease. Treatment of VT involves both emergent management and prevention of recurrence with medical and device therapy. Appropriately selected patients who have experienced VT or those who are at risk of VT may be candidates for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. The left ventricular ejection fraction is most frequently used to stratify patients with either ischemic or nonischemic cardiomyopathy who are at risk of sudden death and may be candidates for a prophylactic defibrillator. Catheter ablation may also be an option for appropriately selected patients with many forms of VT. This article discusses the etiologies and management of VT and its association with sudden death.


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