Tachycardia:Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published At: 11 January 2020 , 07:04 PM

Tachycardia is a symptom of a disturbing increase in heart rate (HR) that exceeds 90 beats/minute. In a healthy adult, the norm of contractions of the central circulatory organ is 60-80 times/minute. However, tachycardia can be not only a pathological deviation from the norm, but also a regular occurrence during physical exertion, worries, or fear. The first is often the result of some disease and appears suddenly in hypnosis (dormancy). Sometimes during an attack of tachycardia, the vessels of the neck may pulsate.

Classification of tachycardia: sinus (> 100 beats / minute), paroxysmal (150-300 beats / minute), ventricular fibrillation (350-600 beats / minute) and atrial flutter (250-350 beats / minute).

Forms of sinus tachycardia:

physiological (during physical activity);

cardiogenic (with heart failure);

neurogenic (with psychoemotional stress, neurocirculatory dystonia, and neurosis);

endocrinologic (with thyrotoxicosis, adrenal gland pathology);

with fever and various infectious diseases.

Forms of paroxysmal tachycardia:





Reasons that cause sinus tachycardia:

insufficient amount of potassium and magnesium in the body;

the use of large quantities of garlic, strong coffee, and alcohol;


overwork and chronic insomnia;

prolonged stress;

prolonged poisoning, infectious diseases;

congenital and acquired heart defects (congenital syndrome of prolongation of the QT interval, myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, pheochromocytoma, thyrotoxicosis, hypothalamic syndrome, etc.);

acute blood loss;

postoperative period;

consequences of brain injury;

surgical diseases.

Causes of paroxysmal tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and atrial flutter:


hormonal disorders;

reflex effect of organs;

drinking large quantities of strong coffee, garlic, and alcohol;

ventricular pre-excitation syndrome;

amyloidosis, hemochromatosis, thyrotoxicosis;

arterial hypertension with severe left ventricular myocardial hypertrophy;

electrolyte disturbances (changes in the number of ions in the blood);

myocarditis, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, sclerosis, cardiosclerosis, pulmonary heart, mitral valve prolapse, tumors, congenital and acquired heart defects;

atrophy of any organs.

Also, tachycardia can occur after the prolapse of the mitral valve, open-heart surgery, as a complication in the treatment of adrenaline, quinidine, sardine (isoprenaline) and psychotropic drugs.


If you feel a sudden heartbeat, a chest push, rapid heart rate, pain in the heart, frequent or no urination, dizziness, darkening of the eyes, noise in the head and ears, shortness of breath, fainting, sometimes loss of vision, transient ischemic attacks, angina attack, Myocardial infarction should consult a doctor.

To diagnose the underlying cause of the disease due to tachycardia, electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography, blood and urine tests, an analysis to detect the content of thyroid hormones and an ultrasound scan of the heart (to detect abnormalities in the structure of the heart or its departments) should be performed.

During what diseases manifested

Tachycardia often occurs with myocardial infarction, ventricular pre-excitation syndrome, post-infarction aneurysm, hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction, sclerosis, cardiosclerosis, mitral valve prolapse, intoxication with cardiac glycosides, in young people with chronic or chronic heart disease and heart defects.

It also manifests itself in the other above examples of causes of tachycardia.

Which doctor to contact

It is almost useless to treat tachycardia - first, you need to eliminate the cause of heart palpitations. A cardiologist - a doctor who specializes in cardiology (the study of the human cardiovascular system), can help with this. 

Prevention and treatment of tachycardia pathogens

To avoid tachycardia, it is necessary to have a full night's sleep (at least 8 hours), give up products with caffeine and other stimulants, stop smoking and alcohol, restore five meals a day without spicy and too salty foods, with less fatty foods, greens, fruits and berries (especially you need to eat lingonberries, raspberries, viburnum), but do not overeat, avoid overwork and unrest, measure the pulse, regularly perform light physical exercises.

In case of an attack, you need to call an ambulance, free your neck, chest from various jewelry and fitting things, open a window, put ice on your forehead, wash with cold water and take decoctions of herbs with a calming effect (hawthorn, valerian, mint, motherwort). You can also take antiarrhythmic drugs such as Finoptin (Verapamil, Isoptin), Reserpine (Rausedil, Raupasil), Etatsizin, Ritmilen (Ritmodan), Raunatin (Rauvazan).

For the treatment of sinus tachycardia, it is necessary to find the disease or condition that caused it to occur, to eliminate or reduce its effect on the work of the heart. 

With paroxysmal tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and flutter, antiarrhythmic drugs administered to patients, and in severe cases, shock therapy of the heart performed by electrical discharge, then the heart stops and starts working again.

In no case do you need to self-medicate, a doctor should prescribe the medication!

The main of these antiarrhythmic drugs is lidocaine, which injected into a vein (1 mg per 1 kg of body weight). When lidocaine does not help, use Novocainamide, Aimalin, b-blockers, and inject potassium chloride.