What is the pathophysiology 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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At the cellular level, ventricular tachycardia (VT) is caused by electrical reentry or abnormal automaticity. Myocardial scarring from any process increases the likelihood of electrical reentrant circuits. These circuits generally include a zone where normal electrical propagation is slowed by the scar. Ventricular scar formation from a prior myocardial infarction (MI) is the most common cause of sustained monomorphic VT.

VT in a structurally normal heart typically results from mechanisms such as triggered activity and enhanced automaticity. Torsade de pointes, seen in the long QT syndromes, is likely a combination of triggered activity and ventricular reentry. [17]

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