How is ventricular tachycardia diagnosed?

Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history. You will also have testing to determine if you have ventricular tachycardia. The most common test used to diagnose ventricular tachycardia is an electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG). An EKG records your heart’s electrical activity. Electrodes (small sticky patches) are placed on your chest and arms to record the heart’s rhythm, and the pattern prints on graph paper. Your doctor may also want to track your heart rhythm at home. If so, you will wear a Holter monitor at home for 24 to 48 hours.

Normal Heart Rhythm recorded on EKG

Normal Heart Rhythm

Ventricular Tachycardia recorded on EKG

Ventricuar Tachycardia

Your doctor may refer you to a specialist to electrophysiology testing. During the test, catheters (long, thin tubes) with electrodes are inserted through the veins at the groin and placed directly in the heart. The electrical activity in different parts of the heart is recorded so your doctor can create a map of the heart’s electrical impulses and see where the electrical problem starts.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/10/2019.

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