Although NSVT is often defined as 3 (sometimes 5) or more consecutive beats arising below the atrioventricular node with a heart rate >100 beats/min lasting <30 s, this definition is not universal. Other definitions of NSVT include >120 beats/min using a duration cutoff of 15 s, or at times no strictly defined diagnostic criteria1.
NSVT can be observed in a variety of individuals, ranging from apparently healthy people to those with significant heart disease. Whether NSVT provokes sustained life-threatening arrhythmias or is merely a surrogate marker of a more severe underlying cardiac pathology is unclear in most clinical settings 1.
Because our patient meets the generally observed criteria for NSVT, we should exclude an underlying occult pathology responsible for the arrhythmia and, in the case of known cardiac disease, risk-stratify the patient for appropriate management2.
The prognostic significance of NSVT is heavily influenced by the type and severity of underlying heart disease. Patients with NSVT in the setting of >24 h post-acute myocardial infarction and those with chronic ischemic heart disease with left ventricular ejection fraction <40% have a less desirable prognosis2. The management of patients with NSVT is generally aimed at treating the underlying heart disease.
- Katritsis DG, Zareba W, Camm AJ. Nonsustained ventricular tachycardia. J Am Coll Cardiol 2012;60:1993-2004.
- Katritisis DG, Camm AJ. Nonsustained ventricular tachycardia: where do we stand? Eur Heart J 2004;25:1093-1099.