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Modern treatment of the ventricular tachycardia

Interventional cardiology
27 Nov, 2017
What is ventricular tachycardia?

Ventricular tachycardia is an arrhythmia represented by rapid heartbeats that originate in the ventricles. During ventricular tachycardia the heart may beat inefficiently and as a result the blood pressure may decrease very much.

This type of tachycardia may lead to life-threatening arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Treatment options for ventricular tachycardias include medications, catheter ablation or placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

The treatment of ventricular tachycardia

After investigations the electrophysiologist can decide what is the best option of treatment.

There is an example of the ECG with premature ventricular beats. Normal beats are marked with asterix (*). Is the case of the patient who had a lot of premature ventricular beats and frequent attacks of ventricular tachycardia for about 10 years. During time the ejection fraction of the left ventricle decreased from 57% (normal) in 2007 to 30% in 2017. The arrhythmia was successfully treated using catheter ablation.

In some cases of ventricular tachycardia the best treatment option is catheter ablation.

How is catheter ablation performed? The electrophysiologist introduces some small cables called catheters through the femoral vein to the heart chambers.

The position of the catheters is checked using X-ray.​

After that, the catheters are connected to the special device and some impulses are sent and received from the heart.

When the location of the arrhythmia is established, the electrophysiologist can use the ablation catheter. The ablation catheter has a tip that can be heated using radiofrequency. The aim is to touch with the tip of the catheter the region of the heart that has to be destroyed (see the image on the left).

The catheter ablation is a modern and efficient treatment option for the ventricular tachycardias.

The first ablation of the ventricular tachycardia in Medpark International Hospital was performed in June 2016. It was the case of a patient with frequent premature ventricular complexes and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia.

In 2016-2017 we performed 6 ablations of the ventricular tachycardias.

Author: Dr. Radu Darciuc, cardiologist at Medpark