Wearable devices offer unprecedented accessibility to vital health information, such as heart rhythms, via the electrocardiogram (ECG). In this article, we'll examine and compare two different heart rhythms: non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT or V-tach) and accelerated idioventricular rhythm (AIVR). Understanding V-tach vs AIVR can be a great tool in the quest for a healthier heart. Let’s dive in!
What’s Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)?
VT 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 Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm (AIVR)?
Accelerated idioventricular rhythm (AIVR) is a type of heart rhythm where the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) beat faster than usual, between 50 and 100 beats per minute. This rhythm often occurs when an extra, abnormal electrical source in the ventricles starts firing rapidly.
On an ECG, AIVR is recognized by wide and bizarre QRS complexes, which show that the electrical signals are coming from the ventricles instead of the usual location. There are no associated P waves, or the P waves may not align with the QRS complexes, indicating that the rhythm is independent of normal atrial activity.
Here’s more on what AIVR looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s the Difference Between VT and AIVR?
When it comes to comparing V-tach vs AIVR ECG patterns, the significant differences lie in their rate and duration. V-tach is a rapid rhythm that typically lasts less than 30 seconds in its non-sustained form. In contrast, AIVR has a slower rate and can last longer.
In terms of health implications, non-sustained V-tach may indicate underlying heart disease, and while it may not cause symptoms, it is often associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. AIVR, on the other hand, is typically benign but can sometimes indicate severe underlying conditions such as myocardial infarction.
It's important to remember that while your smartwatch ECG can provide valuable insights, it does not replace professional medical consultation. Should your ECG show abnormal rhythms, or if you experience cardiac symptoms, always consult a healthcare provider. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!
Still Not Sure if It’s Ventricular Tachycardia (Non-Sustained) or Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm on Your ECG?
Differentiating between V-tach vs AIVR 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!