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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Answer

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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