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Open Access Current Management of Ventricular Tachycardia: Approaches and Timing

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Ventricular tachycardia (VT) in the presence of structural heart disease is associated with sudden cardiac death and warrants prompt attention. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) while highly effective in terminating sustained ventricular arrhythmias and reducing mortality, have no effect on the arrhythmia substrate and recurrent shocks for VT termination occur in approximately 20% of patients. Shocks worsen quality of life and are associated with progression of heart failure and increased mortality. Antiarrhythmic drugs, mainly in the form of beta-blockers or amiodarone, are moderately effective in reducing ICD therapies but drug intolerance and serious toxicities of amiodarone necessitate drug cessation in a quarter of patients. Catheter ablation has emerged as an effective treatment for control of frequent VT episodes and can be life saving in cases of incessant VT or VT storm. As experience increases, it is being used increasingly earlier, rather than a last resort therapy. Efficacy varies with the nature of the underlying heart disease. Intramural arrhythmia substrate and failure to create permanent ablation lesions remain challenges and repeat procedures are necessary in a third to a half of patients. For idiopathic VTs or PVCs that are symptomatic or worsen LV function, catheter ablation is often an effective therapy.

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Keywords: ablation; idiopathic ventricular tachycardia; polymorphic ventricular tachycardia; ventricular tachycardia

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) publishes focused articles and original clinical research that explore novel developments in cardiovascular disease, effective control and rehabilitation in cardiovascular disease, and promote cardiovascular innovations and applications for the betterment of public health globally. The journal publishes basic research that has clinical applicability in order to promote timely communication of the latest insights relating to coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, prevention of cardiovascular disease with a heavy emphasis on risk factor modification. Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications is the official journal of the Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology (GW-ICC). It aims to continue the work of the GW-ICC by providing a global scientific communication platform for cardiologists that bridges East and West.

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