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What are ventricular arrhythmias?

Ventricular arrhythmias include the following:

  • Ventricular tachycardia occurs when the pacemaking role of the heart is taken over by an area of the heart that typically is not involved in the process. This causes the heart’s electrical signals to be sent down a different path than is usual, which can create an irregular heartbeat.
  • Ventricular fibrillation (VFib) is one of the most serious cardiac rhythm disturbances. It is an irregular, uncontrolled heartbeat that occurs when the heart receives impulses from different locations at the same time, telling it to beat. This creates an erratic, fast heartbeat that can only be controlled through immediate medical attention.
  • Premature ventricular contractions occur when the ventricle contracts too soon, which takes it out of sequence with the normal heartbeat. These disturbances often are not serious and do not always require treatment.

This content originally appeared online in "The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery" from the Society of Thoracic Surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.