Ventricular tachycardia: a hospital perspective

Document Type



Internal Medicine


Objective: To describe the etiology and outcome in patients with ventricular tachycardia in our patient population.

Design: A descriptive study.

PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: The study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital from November 2002 to October 2003.

SUBJECTS AND Methods: We enrolled 58 patients who presented to the emergency room with clinical and electrocardiographic evidence of ventricular tachycardia (VT) and/or who developed it during the inpatient stay at the Aga Khan University Hospital. Medical records were retrieved through the computerized data retrieval system. Patients above 18 years of age were included. Those with a pacemaker or who developed VT during electrophysiological testing were excluded. A pre-designed proforma was filled for all patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. All patients were worked up for etiological causes of ventricular tachycardia. Outcomes in the form of death or discharge were recorded.

Results: There were 58 patients who suffered ventricular tachycardias during the study period. These included 70.7 %( 42) males and 29.3 %( 16) females. Mean age of the patients was 57.06+/-11.84 years. Emergency room admissions accounted for 55.2% and ventricular tachycardia was seen in 44.8% during the inpatient stay. Unresponsiveness was the presenting symptom in 25.9%, chest pain in 24.1%, palpitations in 13.8% and ghabrahat in 12.1% patients. Myocardial ischemia was seen in 43.5% of the patients while 23.2% had cardiomyopathy, followed by 33.3% miscellaneous. Out of the patients who had myocardial ischemia (43.5%), 76.6% had non-ST elevation myocardial infarction, 20 % patients had ST elevation myocardial infarction and 3.3% had unstable angina. Hemodynamic instability was noted in 50%, who subsequently required defibrillation. The mortality among these patients with VT was 13.7%.

CONCLUSION: Myocardial ischemia was most commonly seen in patients with ventricular tachycardia in our group of patients. Ventricular tachycardia is associated with a significant mortality of 13.7%.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan