Tachycardia-Induced Heart Failure

By Jitenbhai J Patel, MD; Charles T Whittaker, MD

Summer 2007 - Volume 11 Number 3



Heart failure associated with tachyarrhythmias can very often be reversed by dealing with the underlying tachyarrhythmia. Typically characterized by left ventricular dilation and subsequent systolic dysfunction, this disorder can be caused by both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, most commonly chronic atrial fibrillation. Whereas for most cardiomyopathies there is little that can be done to reverse the progression of the disease, in tachycardia-induced heart failure the patient's often debilitating symptoms can be ameliorated. This is particularly important in the primary care setting because tachyarrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, are commonly encountered. The alert physician will be able to diagnose and treat tachyarrhythmias, which can result in improvement of systolic function within weeks and often normalization within several months.

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