tachycardia
TACHYCARDIA
Treatment Guideline Chart

Tachycardia is defined as a cardiac rate that is increased to >100 beats/minute (bpm).

Tachyarrhythmia is used to describe tachycardia in the presence of cardiac rhythm abnormality.

Divided into supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia.

Signs and symptoms related to rapid heart rate are altered sensorium, angina, shortness of breath, myocardial infarction, hypotension and other signs of shock (eg cold clammy skin, low urine output), heart failure or pulmonary congestion.

Tachycardia Signs and Symptoms

Definition

  • Tachycardia is defined as a cardiac rate that is increased to >100 beats/minute (bpm)
  • Tachyarrhythmia is used to describe tachycardia in the presence of cardiac rhythm abnormality

Epidemiology

  • Ventricular tachycardia is more common in male patients with a history of cardiac disease and increases with age 
  • Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) is more common in women than in men
  • In adolescents, AVNRT and atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT) are more prevalent
  • Use of the accessory pathway for tachycardia is more frequent in younger population and decreases with age

Signs and Symptoms

Serious signs and symptoms are often demonstrated at ventricular rates >150 bpm

Signs and symptoms related to rapid heart rate (HR):

  • Altered sensorium
  • Angina
  • Hypotension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Palpitations
  • Syncope, lightheadedness
  • Shirt flapping/neck pulsations (more common in AVNRT)
  • Polyuria (more common in AVNRT)
  • Other signs of shock (eg cold clammy skin, low urine output), heart failure (HF) or pulmonary congestion

Risk Factors

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus (DM)
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Increasing age
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Excessive alcohol intake
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