Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)

Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a rapid heart rhythm that occurs in the lower chambers or ventricles of the heart. It often occurs in people with underlying heart disease like coronary artery disease, heart failure, or with a history of a previous heart attack. In these conditions it can result in fainting or death if it persists and is untreated. VT can also happen in people with normal hearts and is called idiopathic VT. 

Symptoms & Signs

The rapid heart rates can cause symptoms of palpitations or a faster heartbeat. The rapid heart rates can cause a drop in blood pressure and symptoms of dizziness, fainting, sweating and chest pain or discomfort may occur. Because VT is often associated with symptoms and in many people can lead to ventricular fibrillation (a dangerously fast and disorganized heartbeat) and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), it is a serious condition that needs aggressive treatment and follow up.


Treatment options include surgery, radiofrequency ablation (burning the area of heart tissue that triggers the abnormal rhythm), and/or medication. People with VT who are risk of sudden cardiac arrest/death are offered an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD). The ICD is a device that can detect the abnormal heart rhythm and restore a normal heart rhythm by either pacing or delivery of a shock.

Keep Exploring

Heart Rhythm Disorders
Millions of people experience irregular or abnormal heartbeats, called arrhythmias, at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they are harmless and happen in healthy people free of heart disease. However, some abnormal heart rhythms can be serious or even deadly. Having other types of heart disease can also increase the risk of arrhythmias.
Pediatrics and Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
This section is for pediatric patients and families living with heart rhythm disorders and heart rhythm disorders related to congenital heart disease (CHD).
Early Warning Signs
If you are experiencing a racing, pounding, rumbling or flopping feeling in your chest or if you have been fainting, having repeated dizzy spells, feeling lightheaded or you are extremely fatigued, it's time to see a doctor to discuss your heart health.
Common Treatments
Learning about the underlying cause of any heart rhythm disorder provides the basis for selecting the best treatment plan. Information and knowledge about care options, and their risks and benefits help you work with your health care provider to make the best choices.
Since other heart disorders increase the risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms, lifestyle changes often are recommended. Living a “heart healthy” lifestyle can ease the symptoms experienced with heart rhythm disorders and other heart disorders, and can be beneficial to overall patient health.
The Normal Heart
The heart is a fist-sized muscle that pumps blood through the body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without rest. The normal heart is made up of four parts: two atria on the top of the heart (right atrium and left atrium), and two ventricles (right ventricle and left ventricle) which are the muscular chambers on the bottom of the heart that provide the major power to pump blood.