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  • Transesophageal echocardiogram

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    Transesophageal echocardiography diagram A transesophageal echocardiogram, or TEE (TOE in the United Kingdom and other countries such as Australia, reflecting the spelling transoesophageal), is an alternative way to perform an echocardiogram. A specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip is passed into the patient's esophagus. This allows image and Doppler evaluation which can be recorded. It has several advantages and some disadvantages compared with a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE).

  • Ventricular tachycardia

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    Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach or VT) is a type of regular, fast heart rate that arises from improper electrical activity in the ventricles of the heart. Although a few seconds may not result in problems, longer periods are dangerous. Short periods may occur without symptoms, or present with lightheadedness, palpitations, or chest pain. Ventricular tachycardia may result in cardiac arrest and turn into ventricular fibrillation. It is found initially in about 7% of people in cardiac arrest. Ventricular tachycardia can occur due to coronary heart disease, aortic stenosis, cardiomyopathy, electrolyte problems, or a heart attack. Diagnosis is by an electrocardiogram (ECG) showing a rate of greater than 120 beats per minute and at least three wide QRS complexes in a row. It is classified as non-sustained versus sustained based on whether it lasts less than or more than 30 seconds. The term ventricular tachycardias refers to the group of irregular heartbeats that includes ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and torsades de pointes. In those who have a normal blood pressure and strong pulse, the antiarrhythmic medication procainamide may be used. Otherwise, immediate cardioversion is recommended. In those in cardiac arrest due to ventricular tachycardia, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation is recommended. Biphasic defibrillation may be better than monophasic. While waiting for a defibrillator, a precordial thump may be attempted in those on a heart monitor who are seen going into an unstable ventricular tachycardia. In those with cardiac arrest due to ventricular tachycardia, survival is about 45%. An implantable cardiac defibrillator or medications such as calcium channel blockers or amiodarone may be used to prevent recurrence.

  • Catheter ablation

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    Catheter ablation is a procedure used to remove or terminate a faulty electrical pathway from sections of the hearts of those who are prone to developing cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardias (SVT) and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW syndrome). If not controlled, such arrhythmias increase the risk of ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac arrest. The ablation procedure can be classified by energy source: radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation.

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