Ventricular arrhythmias (sustained):

Ventricular arrhythmias (sustained): 

Ventricular arrhythmias (sustained) refer to a type of heart rhythm disorder characterized by rapid and irregular beats originating from the ventricles of the heart. A sustained ventricular arrhythmia is defined as an abnormal heart rhythm that lasts for more than 30 seconds. This type of arrhythmia can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening as it can reduce the heart's ability to pump blood effectively, leading to decreased blood flow to the body and the possibility of cardiac arrest. 


Ventricular tachycardia causes include:

  • Cardiomyopathy.
  • Cardiovascular disease (especially when it changes the shape of your heart).
  • Congenital heart conditions (heart problems you’re born with).
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart inflammation
  • Heart surgery
  • Heart valve diseases
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Medications

Ventricular fibrillation causes include:

  • Blunt impacts the chest (especially from small, fast-moving objects like a baseball).
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital heart conditions
  • Electrocution
  • Heart attack
  • Heart surgery
  • Medications
  • Ventricular tachycardia


The symptoms of ventricular arrhythmia depend on the type of arrhythmia. Some have no symptoms (especially non-sustained and benign arrhythmias).

Ventricular tachycardia usually has the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Dizziness, feeling lightheaded or fainting
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Heart palpitations

Ventricular fibrillation typically causes a person to collapse or pass out. Sometimes, there are no warning signs before this takes place. If symptoms happen, they tend to appear just minutes before a person passes out. Symptoms often include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Dizziness, feeling lightheaded and fainting
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular or racing pulse
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing


Diagnosis typically involves: 

  • physical exam
  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • possibly other tests to evaluate heart function and identify underlying causes

Note: A rating of 100 percent shall be assigned from the date of hospital admission for initial evaluation and medical therapy for a sustained ventricular arrhythmia or for ventricular aneurysmectomy. Six months following discharge, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of §3.105(e) of this chapter.

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