Which physical findings are characteristic of ventricular tachycardia (VT)?

Updated: Dec 05, 2017
  • Author: Steven J Compton, MD, FACC, FACP, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

During VT, the following may be observed:

  • Hypotension

  • Tachypnea

  • Signs of diminished perfusion, including a diminished level of consciousness, pallor, and diaphoresis

  • High jugular venous pressure

  • Cannon A waves (if the atria are in sinus rhythm)

  • Variation in intensity of first heart sound (S1), caused by loss of atrioventricular (AV) synchrony

After cardioversion, physical findings during normal sinus rhythm are related to any underlying structural heart disease.

VT can also result in sudden death, especially after degeneration to VF. Patients in whom this occurs may first present with syncope.

See Presentation for more detail.


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