Ventricular arrhythmia. Heart rhythm irregularities that occur in the lower chambers of the heart, called ” ventricles .”
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- 1 General data
- 2 Symptoms
- 3 Types of ventricular arrhythmias
- 1 Ventricular tachycardia
- 2 Ventricular fibrillation
- 3 Premature ventricular contractions
- 4 Treatment
- 5 External link
- 6 Sources
They can appear in patients with normal hearts, accentuated by a numerous group of factors that stimulate their production, such as heart irritants such as, coffee, tobacco and alcohol; emotions, electrolyte imbalances, anesthesia, etc. But they are more frequent in the presence of heart disease, such as ischemic heart disease , cardiomyopathies, hypertensive heart disease, heart failure of any origin and with aging.
They do not produce serious symptoms, but the palpitations are annoying in very sensitive people. On physical examination, the irregularity of the arterial pulse can be seen, with an absent heartbeat, if the precociousness fails to open the sigmoid valves; in the jugular venous pulse, the wave can be normal or canyon, depending on the relationship between atrial and ventricular systole. The intensity of the first noise will be determined by the earliness of the premature ventricular complex and is generally accentuated.
Its prognostic importance will depend on the clinical situation in which it is evaluated. In the absence of the underlying disease, it has no impact on longevity or functional capacity. In people with heart disease, especially ischemic or hypertensive heart disease, they are markers of increased mortality, although the role they play as precipitants of more serious ventricular arrhythmias has not been demonstrated, or if this pathophysiological relationship exists.
Types of ventricular arrhythmias
The ventricular tachycardia is when the SA node no longer controls the beating of the ventricles, but other areas along the route of electrical conduction lower assume the pacemaker function. Because the new signal does not travel through the heart muscle in the normal way, the heart muscle does not beat normally. The heart beat is accelerated and the patient feels palpitations. This irregular rhythm can cause extreme shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting ( syncope ).
The most serious arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation , which is an uncontrolled irregular heartbeat. Rather than having a single untimely pulsation of the ventricles, multiple impulses may originate from different places at the same time, all of them stimulating the heart to beat. Consequently, much faster and more disordered beats are produced that can reach 300 beats per minute. Because of these chaotic beats, the heart pumps very little blood to the brain and the rest of the body, and the person may pass out. People who suffer from cardiovascular disease or who have a history of heart attacks have the highest risk of developing ventricular fibrillation.
Premature ventricular contractions
A less serious type of ventricular arrhythmia is premature ventricular contraction (CVP). As the name implies, the problem is due to the ventricles contracting earlier than they should, out of their proper sequence. CVPs (sometimes called “premature ventricular beats”) are generally not dangerous and often do not need treatment. But if the patient suffers from cardiovascular disease or has a history of ventricular tachycardia, CVP can produce a more serious arrhythmia. Although most CVPs occur quickly and without warning, they can also be caused by the caffeine in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate.
The appearance of the premature ventricular complex in acute circumstances must be individualized, since correcting the factors that produce or favor them, generally cancel them, without the need to use antiarrhythmic drugs .
- In the presence of a slow HR, increasing it with atropine , isoproterenol , or step markers can make it disappear.
- Low potassium and magnesium levels must be corrected quickly to control the arrhythmia.