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      HealthWACH: Calm racing hearts

      COLUMBIA (WACH)

      Tachycardia is a heart rate of greater than 100 beats per minute. A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute at rest. Ventricular tachycardia is a consistently, faster-than-normal heart rate that begins in the heart's lower chambers. In most patients with ventricular tachycardia the rate is in the range of 170 beats per minute or more.

      Ventricular tachycardia is caused by other heart problems such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, an enlarged heart or after heart surgery because of scar tissue that forms on the heart.

      Radiofrequency catheter ablation (RCA) is a procedure performed by a cardiac electrophysiologist. In the first part of the procedure, the physician uses electrophysiology techniques to pinpoint the location in the heart where the abnormal rhythm originates. Next, the physician uses a catheter with a special tip on it that emits a high frequency form of electrical current. The energy is directed at the area in the ventricle where the abnormal current originates to destroy a tiny amount of tissue. This is called an ablation procedure.