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What is Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia?

Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is a heart condition where the heart rate increases at an abnormally fast rate. This rate is called a ventricular tachycardia. This elevated heart rate can cause serious symptoms. Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia can become a dangerous condition that needs to be medicated.

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CPVT is a genetically inherited cardiac disease, meaning that it is passed from parents to children at birth. While a child is born with the genetic mutation that causes CPVT, they may not ever develop a malignant strain of the condition. Like many other genetic cardiac conditions, CPVT should be taken seriously. Many cases of CPVT are found through cardiac genetic testing, which allows doctors to examine the genetic material for any mutations.

Symptoms of CPVT?

If you experience these symptoms, they may be a sign you are suffering from Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.

  • Fainting: also after exercise or rigorous activity, fainting can be a sign your body is not getting blood to important organs or your brain.
  • Sense of rapid or fluttering heartbeats: A feeling of abnormal heartbeats could be a concerning sign that you have a cardiomyopathy. Talk to your doctor for a heart screen.
  • Lightheadedness: this is a sign you may not be getting enough blood through your system.

These symptoms can be serious and should be treated with caution. Most cases of CVPT are undetected until they are symptomatic. From there, a cascade of genetic testing helps identify other family members with the disease.

Treatments for CVPT

There are several ways to help manage CVPT and live a full life. Some include heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy, balanced diet. More commonly, several medications also exist which help regulate the abnormal spike in heart rate that CVPT causes on the heart. Finally, a few surgeries are available that help stabilize the heart through an implanted cardioverter defibrillator. Ask your doctor about recommendations for you. Additionally, for those in an older demographic, there are assisted living services that are equipped to handle many types of medical conditions.

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