Advances in technology have placed ECGs right on our wrists, offering us unique insights into our heart rhythms. In this article, we’ll explore two specific rhythms: sinus tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia. If you’ve come across these terms on your ECG watch readouts, it's essential to understand the differences and implications of VT vs sinus tach.
What’s Sinus Tachycardia?
Sinus tachycardia is a condition where the heart beats faster than normal, at more than 100 beats per minute in adults. It’s often a normal response to stress, fever, dehydration, or strenuous physical activity.
On an ECG, sinus tachycardia is marked by a regular rhythm with a rate exceeding 100 beats per minute, where every QRS complex is preceded by a normal P wave. Here’s more on what sinus tachycardia looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)?
VT, on the other hand, is a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. It often results in a heart rate of 100 to 250 beats per minute, which can be life-threatening. On an ECG, V-tach shows a rapid, regular rhythm with wide and bizarre QRS complexes, often overshadowing the P waves.
“Non-sustained” V-tach lasts less than 30 seconds, whereas “sustained” V-tach lasts longer. Here’s more on what V-tach looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s the Difference Between Sinus Tachycardia and Ventricular Tachycardia?
When comparing V-tach vs sinus tach, the key difference lies in the origin of the fast heart rhythm. Sinus tachycardia originates from the SA node, while V-tach starts in the ventricles.
On an ECG, both rhythms show a fast heart rate, but the QRS complexes in VT are wide and abnormal, compared to the normal ones in sinus tachycardia.
As for the health impact, sinus tachycardia can be a normal response to stress or physical exertion, but could also indicate an underlying condition if it occurs at rest. VT, on the other hand, is always considered serious. It can lead to insufficient blood flow to the body due to the ventricles' rapid and inefficient pumping, potentially leading to fainting, cardiac arrest, or even sudden death.
In conclusion, understanding sinus tachycardia vs ventricular tachycardia on your watch ECG can help you better monitor your heart health. However, these devices should not replace medical advice. If your ECG watch indicates any abnormal rhythms, it's vital to seek medical attention promptly. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!
Still Not Sure if It’s Sinus Tachycardia or Ventricular Tachycardia on Your ECG?
Differentiating between sinus tach vs V-tach on your ECG can be tricky. If you’re still looking for help interpreting your ECG further, check out the Qaly app on App Store or Play Store. On Qaly, human experts will interpret your ECGs within minutes, day or night. Try out the Qaly app for free today!