What are the ECG criteria for diagnosing 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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The ECG diagnosis of VT is generally straightforward, but it does require that this condition be distinguished from aberrantly conducted supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which has a similar ECG pattern. ECG criteria for confirming the presence of a VT mechanism for a wide-complex tachycardia include the following:

  • Presence of atrioventricular (AV)—technically, ventriculoatrial—dissociation (in which the ventricles fire at a faster rate than the atria)
  • Fusion beats
  • Capture beats

Because AV dissociation, fusion, and capture beats occur in only a minority of VT tracings, additional 12-lead ECG criteria (the Brugada criteria [15] and the Vereckei criteria [16] ) have been derived to facilitate discrimination between VT and aberrantly conducted SVT. (See Workup).

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