Tachycardia: Complete information with symptoms and treatment

Rapid heart rate, when the heart rate per minute 90 strokes or more is called tachycardia. Tachycardia is not an independent disease, but only a separate manifestation, a symptom.

Causes of tachycardia

In medicine, there are two types of tachycardia:

  • physiological,
  • pathological.

Physiological tachycardia

Physiological tachycardia can only be evidence of a strong emotional or physical strain. Most often this is a natural reaction of the body to various external stimuli, which help increase blood flow to certain organs.


Causes of physiological tachycardia:

  • emotional stress – any positive or negative emotions;
  • physical loads – from a simple climb up the stairs to intensive training in the gym;
  • use of tonic – strong tea, coffee, alcohol, energy drinks, smoking;
  • use of medications – atropine, corticosteroids, etc;
  • climatic influences – heat, high humidity, stuffiness.

Pathological tachycardia

The cause of the pathological tachycardia can be cardiovascular diseases or impaired functionality of other body systems, for example, vegetative, endocrine.

The main “non-cardiac” causes:

  • dehydration,
  • great blood loss,
  • anemia,
  • adrenal gland tumor,
  • hyperthyroidism,
  • psychosis,
  • neurosis,
  • fever in angina, tuberculosis or any other infectious disease.

Often the cause of increased heart rate is pain syndromes of any origin, an increase in temperature.

Most cardiovascular diseases can also trigger the development of tachycardia:

  • chronic heart failure;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • myocarditis, endocarditis, pericarditis and other inflammatory heart diseases;
  • heart defects – congenital, acquired;
  • additional bundles of conduction.

In the case of idiopathic tachycardia, it is not possible to establish clear causes of rhythm disturbance.

Classification of tachycardia

The primary source of cardiac contraction is excessive excitation of certain parts of the heart. Normally, the formation of the electric pulse occurs in the sinus node, subsequently spreading to the myocardium. In the presence of pathologies, the nerve cells that are in the ventricles, atria, become the primary sources. It is on the definition of primary sources of cardiac reduction based classification of tachycardia.

Physicians distinguish several types of tachycardia:

  • sinusoidal,
  • ventricular,
  • atrial,
  • atrioventricular.

It can indicate violations of hemodynamics or functions of the endocrine, autonomic nervous systems and other diseases.

Sinus tachycardia

Sinus tachycardia is characterized by the correctness of the heart rate and a gradual increase in the number of heartbeats to 220 beats per minute. It may be inadequate or adequate. The first is a rare disease of an unclear genesis, manifested in a state of rest, accompanied by a shortage of air.


Sinus tachycardia can be asymptomatic or accompanied by minor symptoms:

  • frequent dizziness,
  • a feeling of lack of air,
  • weakness,
  • dyspnea,
  • insomnia,
  • fatigue,
  • decreased appetite,
  • persistent heart palpitations,
  • decrease in efficiency and worsening of mood.

The degree of symptoms depends on the sensitivity threshold of the nervous system and the underlying disease. For example, in heart diseases, an increase in heart rate causes a deepening of symptoms of heart failure, an attack of angina pectoris.

Sinus tachycardia is characterized by a gradual onset and an end. Reduction of cardiac output is accompanied by a violation of blood supply to tissues and various organs. There may be dizziness, fainting, in the case of cerebral vascular lesions – convulsions, focal neurological disorders. Prolonged sinus tachycardia is accompanied by a decrease in diuresis, a decrease in arterial pressure, and cold extremities are observed.


The purpose of diagnostic measures is the differentiation of sinus tachycardia and the identification of causes.

  • ECG – determination of rhythm and heart rate;
  • Daily monitoring of ECG is the detection and analysis of all types of cardiac arrhythmias, changes in cardiac activity during routine patient activity.
  • MRI of the heart, EchoCG – detection of intracardiac pathologies.
  • EFI – the study of the propagation of electrical impulse on the cardiac muscles to determine violations of conduction of the heart, the mechanism of tachycardia.

To eliminate blood diseases, the pathological activity of the central nervous system, endocrine disorders, additional methods of investigation are carried out EEG of the brain, general blood analysis, etc.


The method of treatment is determined by the cardiologist and other specialists, depending on the reasons for its occurrence.

With physiological sinus tachycardia, medication is not required. It is only necessary to eliminate factors that cause an increase in heart rate – the consumption of alcohol, beverages containing caffeine, spicy foods, nicotine (smoking), chocolate. Also, intensive physical and psychoemotional loads should be avoided.

With pathological sinus tachycardia treatment, in the first place, is aimed at treating the underlying disease. In the case of the ineffectiveness of drugs, methods of psycho-and physiotherapy, or a threat to human life, heart RFA can be used (cauterization of the affected area) or implantation of an electro cardio stimulator.

Ventricular tachycardia

With ventricular tachycardia, cardiac activity can reach 220 beats per minute. The work of the heart in an uneconomical mode leads to heart failure, which can cause ventricular fibrillation – complete disorganization of cardiac functions, stopping blood circulation and ending with a fatal outcome.


There are two types of ventricular tachycardia that differ in their symptoms:

  • hemodynamically stable – rapid heart rate, severity, compression in the heart, chest, dizziness;
  • hemodynamically unstable – the patient loses consciousness a few seconds after the first manifestations of ventricular tachycardia.

Occurs suddenly, in the second case, loss of consciousness is the only manifestation of an increase in heart rate.


To confirm the diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia, ECG is usually sufficient. According to the electrocardiogram, localization of ventricular tachycardia can be assessed.

  • Daily monitoring of the ECG – not just states the fact, but also responsible for the length of the episodes, their connection with various events, for example, with physical exertion.
  • EFI – the electrophysiological characteristics of the ventricular tachycardia are determined.

In some cases, implantable loop monitors, cardiac telemetry can be used.


The main methods of treatment of ventricular tachycardia are aimed at the prevention of new seizures, the therapy of the underlying disease.

To get rid of seizures in many cases allows catheter ablation (moxibustion). Methods of drug therapy achieve a permanent stable effect is not yet possible. In the presence of hereditary channelopathies, structural pathologies, a cardioverter-defibrillator is implanted.

Atrial tachycardia

Atrial tachycardia is a rare form of tachycardia. Occurs in any small area of the atria. It can appear from time to time or this condition can last for several days, months. In elderly patients suffering from serious forms of heart failure, several pathological foci may occur.


Atrial tachycardia can be asymptomatic or patients experience only a violent heartbeat. In some cases, there is dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain. Older people may not pay attention to a slight increase in heart rate.


Usually, atrial tachycardia is detected accidentally – during stress tests with an ECG or when calling a doctor with complaints of heart pain and dizziness.

Diagnosis of atrial tachycardia is possible only during an attack –

ECG. In some cases, the cardiologist stimulates an attack during the electrophysiological examination.


Atrial tachycardia usually does not present a serious danger to human health. But in order to avoid the risk of an increase in heart size, a cardiologist may recommend drug therapy, catheter ablation.

Atrioventricular tachycardia

Two main variants of atrioventricular tachycardia:

  • atrioventricular nodal tachycardia;
  • atrioventricular tachycardia involving additional ways of carrying out.

Atrioventricular tachycardia occurs frequently.


Rare seizures with high frequency are very significant clinically. They are accompanied by:

  • lowering blood pressure,
  • anthrax pains,
  • suffocating,
  • pulsation in the neck,
  • a violation of consciousness.

It begins suddenly, the duration of the attack – from several minutes to several days. It is most common in women and is usually not associated with heart disease.


Diagnostic measures include:

  • anamnesis collection – enough for preliminary diagnosis of atrioventricular tachycardia;
  • physical examination;
  • methods of instrumental diagnostics – ECG, NWP, EFI, Holter monitoring; loading ECG-samples.


The frequency of attacks of atrioventricular tachycardia can sometimes be significantly reduced with the help of medications and physiotherapy. The technique is determined by etiology, the form of tachycardia, the presence of additional complications, the frequency of seizures. In some cases, the ablation method is applied.

Tachycardia in children

The normal heart rate in children depends on age:

  • 123-159 beats per minute – the age is 1-2 days;
  • 129-166 beats per minute – the age is 3-6 days;
  • 107-182 – the age of 1-3 weeks;
  • 121-179 – age 1-2 months;
  • 106-186 – the age of 3-5 months;
  • 109-169 – the age of 6-11 months;
  • 89-151 – age 1-2 years;
  • 73-137 – age 3-4 years;
  • 65-133 – the age of 5-7 years;
  • 62-130 – the age of 8-11 years;
  • 60-119 – the age of 12-15 years.

Nadzheludochkovaya tachycardia is the most common type of tachycardia that occurs in children. Usually it passes with age without the intervention of physicians.

Less common in children is ventricular tachycardia, in the absence of treatment, it poses a threat to life.


Symptoms of infantile tachycardia are similar to those of adults with tachycardia:

  • pain in the chest,
  • dizziness,
  • cardiopalmus,
  • dyspnea,
  • fainting,
  • nausea,
  • pallor,
  • sweating,
  • weakness.

Children with tachycardia are restless, capricious. The veins are pulsating, the child is frightened, the mucous membranes, the skin may turn pale or pale. Increased drowsiness is one of the symptoms of tachycardia in newborns.


Diagnosis of tachycardia in children is complicated by the age of the patients. The child can not tell about his feelings, so the specialist should rely only on research data:

  • laboratory – blood test, urine, hormone research;
  • instrumental – ECG, daily monitoring by Holter, ultrasound of the heart, MRI, echocardiography, etc.

More often observed in thin children with a narrow chest, undeveloped muscles – asthenic physique.


The treatment is determined by the type of tachycardia, the age of the child. Usually, medical treatment is sufficient, but in some cases, radiofrequency ablation or surgical intervention may be required.

Tachycardia in pregnant women

Tachycardia is one of the most common pathologies in pregnant women. The main cause of this condition is changed in the cardiovascular system. To date, several other reasons for tachycardia in pregnant women have been scientifically substantiated:

  • anemia,
  • obesity,
  • overdose of vitamin and medicinal products,
  • bronchial asthma,
  • pulmonary infection,
  • pathology of the thyroid gland,
  • temperature increase,
  • ectopic pregnancy,
  • dehydration of the body,
  • heart failure and other diseases of the cardiovascular system,
  • blood loss,
  • placental abruption,
  • injury,
  • sepsis.

Provoke an attack of tachycardia can also be a constant sense of anxiety, stress. Tachycardia of pregnant women can be associated with bad habits – smoking, alcohol, containing caffeine drinks.


The increase in heart rate of pregnant women is considered a physiological norm, but you should consult a doctor about the following symptoms:

  • pain in the heart or in the chest;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • frequent dizziness, fainting;
  • unreasonable fatigue;
  • excessive anxiety.

There may also be numbness in individual parts of the body.


Diagnostic measures – laboratory and instrumental studies with appropriate limitations depending on the period of pregnancy and the state of women’s health.


More often a tachycardia passes or takes place, as soon as the woman calms down. In other cases, the doctor chooses a method of treatment according to the degree of development of tachycardia. This takes into account the body mass index of the future mother.

What is dangerous for tachycardia?

In addition to rapid fatigue, unpleasant, sometimes painful sensations, any tachycardia becomes the cause of heart failure – the heart wears out. In addition to conduction disorders, heart rhythm, tachycardia can give such complications as:

  • cardiac asthma,
  • arrhythmic shock,
  • pulmonary edema,
  • thromboembolism of cerebral vessels,
  • acute circulatory insufficiency of the brain,
  • pulmonary embolism.

Ventricular tachycardia in combination with acute myocardial infarction can cause death.

Prevention of tachycardia

Prevention of tachycardia – rejection of bad habits, early diagnosis, treatment of the underlying disease. To a large extent, the tachycardia of gum inflammation, the sick teeth, any chronic inflammation – the nasopharynx, the genitourinary system, etc., are aggravated.

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