74 year old male patient with coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, and upper GI bleed.
Rhythm analysis indicates normal sinus rhythm with bigeminy. Alternating normal beats and PVCs are seen. Rhythm then converts to ventricular tachycardia at a rate of approximately 130 bpm.
This encounter highlights an extended run of ventricular tachycardia (VTach), a dangerous rhythm that can lead to ventricular fibrillation (VFib) and cardiac arrest. VTach is identified as three or more PVCs in a row, with a rate higher than 120 bpm. Short runs of VTach are not life threatening, and typically self resolve quickly. However, sustained ventricular tachycardia causes extremely low cardiac output and blood pressure. Sustained VTach may require cardioversion or antiarrhythmic drugs.
Source: PhysioNet MGH022