This page provides an introduction to ventricular rhythms and links to training materials on this website.
When the ventricles handle the pacemaking role, they can be observed on EKG tracings. This website and related websites provide training, practice drills and quizzes related to ventricular rhythms.
There are several type of ventricular rhythms:
Accelerated idioventricular rhythm occurs when three or more ventricular escape beats appear in a sequence. Heart rate will be 50-100 bpm. The QRS complex will be wide (0.12 sec. or more).
Asystole is the state of no cardiac electrical activity and no cardiac output. Immediate action is required.
Idioventricular rhythm is a slow rhythm of under 50 bpm. It indicates that then ventricles are producing escape beats.
Premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) occur when a ventricular site generates an impulse. This happens before the next regular sinus beat. Look for a wide QRS complex, equal or greater than 0.12 sec. The QRS complex shape can be bizarre. The P wave will be absent.
Ventricular fibrillation originates in the ventricles and it chaotic. No normal EKG waves are present. No heart rate can be observed. Ventricular fibrillation is an emergency condition requiring immediate action.
A sequence of three PVCs in a row is ventricular tachycardia. The rate will be 120-200 bpm. Ventricular Tachycardia has two variations, monomorphic and polymorphic. These variations are discussed separately.
Monomorphic ventricular tachycardia occurs when the electrical impulse originates in one of the ventricles. The QRS complex is wide. Rate is above 100 bpm.
Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia has QRS complexes that very in shape and size. If a polymorphic ventricular tachycardia has a long QT Interval, it could be Torsade de Pointes.
Torsade de Pointes is a special form of ventricular tachycardia. The QRS complexes vary in shape and amplitude and appear to wind around the baseline.
A good starting point is our ventricular rhythms module, which focuses on the morphologic features and qualifying criteria of ventricular rhythms. The module includes interactive Q&A.
Hundreds heart rhythms in this practice test. Test can be tailored for specific learning needs.EKG Rhythm Tests