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J Emerg Med. 2003 Oct;25(3):303-14.

Electrocardiographic manifestations: ventricular tachycardia.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Ventricular tachycardia is a serious rhythm disturbance that originates from any part of the myocardium or conduction system below the atrioventricular node. Ventricular tachycardia (VT) presents with a wide QRS complex and a rate greater than 120 beats/min. Ventricular tachycardia is frequently encountered as a complication of coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy; furthermore, VT is also seen in patients with medication adverse effect or electrolyte disturbance. Ventricular tachycardia presents electrocardiographically in several forms, including monomorphic and polymorphic VT. As is true in most Emergency Department presentations, the Emergency Physician must approach the dysrhythmic patient from an undifferentiated perspective, in this instance, the wide complex tachycardia (WCT) scenario. The electrocardiographic differential diagnosis of WCT classically includes VT and supraventricular tachycardia with aberrant intra-ventricular conduction. This article will review the electrocardiographic presentations encountered in patients with ventricular tachycardia.

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