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An arrhythmia is an abnormality in the timing or pattern of the heartbeat. Arrhythmias may cause the heart to beat too rapidly, too slowly, or irregularly. They are common and may cause a wide variety of symptoms, such as a racing, skipping or fluttering sensation (called palpitations) in your chest.
Cardiac arrhythmias also may cause light-headedness, fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue or no symptoms at all. Many types of arrhythmia are merely nuisances, other types may be serious problems because they cause the patient to develop heart failure, pass out or even die suddenly when the heart beats too slowly or too rapidly to pump blood to the body.
Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) is a series of rapid heartbeats that originate in the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles). As a result, the heart may beat inefficiently, and the body may receive an inadequate blood supply.
Ventricular tachycardia most often occurs when the heart muscle has been damaged by a heart attack or some other disease, creating abnormal electrical pathways in the ventricles.
This type of tachycardia may last only a few of beats and cause no problems; however, it may continue and lead to life-threatening arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Treatment options include medications, catheter ablation, or placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).