What is tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy?

Updated: Mar 02, 2021
  • Author: Vinh Q Nguyen, MD, FACC; Chief Editor: Gyanendra K Sharma, MD, FACC, FASE  more...
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Generally, when detected early, this type of cardiomyopathy is reversible once treatment of the tachycardia is successful. Common etiologies include chronic untreated atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response and frequent (several thousand daily) premature ventricular contractions. Persistent tachycardia is known to lead to myocyte dysfunction and cardiomyopathy. If the tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy is left untreated, the left ventricular dysfunction can become irreversible. The exact mechanisms by which tachycardia affects cell function are poorly understood. The following are possible mechanisms by which myocyte dysfunction arises from tachycardia:

  • Depletion of energy stores

  • Abnormal calcium channel activity

  • Abnormal subendocardial oxygen delivery secondary to abnormalities in blood flow

  • Reduced responsiveness to beta-adrenergic stimulation

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