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Wide Complex Tachycardia: Diagnosis And Management In The Emergency Department

June 2008

Abstract

When confronted with a wide complex tachycardia (WCT), it is crucial to consider the differential diagnosis, which includes both common and uncommon entities. The common entities include supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) with aberrant ventricular conduction (AVC) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). Less commonly encountered processes include preexcited tachycardias (seen in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White [WPW] syndrome) as well as toxic- and metabolicallymediated WCTs (sodium channel blocker toxicity, severe hyperkalemia).

W hen confronted with a wide complex tachycardia (WCT), it is crucial to consider the differential diagnosis, which includes both common and uncommon entities. The common entities include supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) with aberrant ventricular conduction (AVC) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). Less commonly encountered processes include preexcited tachycardias (seen in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White [WPW] syndrome) as well as toxic- and metabolicallymediated WCTs (sodium channel blocker toxicity, severe hyperkalemia).

This issue of Emergency Medicine Practice provides a systematic approach to wide complex tachycardia.
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