Wide Complex Tachycardia

Authors: Nishaki Mehta, MD, Ceshae Harding, MD, Araba Ofosu-Somuah, MD
Credit/contact hours: .5
Estimated time to complete: 30 minutes
Publication Date: Apr 21, 2020
Expiration date: Apr 21, 2026



Tachyarrhythmias can present a significant clinical challenge. Patients presenting with fast heart rate may be unstable with chest pain, hypotension, or with myocardial ischemia, or they may be completely asymptomatic. The initial approach typically involves distinguishing between tachycardias with a wide QRS complex (“wide complex tachycardias”) versus those with a narrow QRS complex (“narrow complex tachycardias”). Narrow complex tachycardias are always supra-ventricular in origin. Wide complex tachycardias are more complex as they may arise from supra-ventricular sources and conduct aberrantly (supra-ventricular tachycardia with aberrancy) or they may arise from ventricular sources (ventricular tachycardia). In this case, we will examine a patient presenting with tachycardia and work our way through a differential diagnosis.

Note: This course is eligible for ACPE credit.

You Will Learn

  • To define the clinical approach to the diagnosis of wide complex tachycardia
  • To differentiate supra-ventricular tachycardia (SVT) with aberrancy from Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)
  • To describe the pathophysiology and management of AV-Nodal Re-entrant Tachycardia (AVNRT)
  • To enumerate the indications for ICD placement in ischemic cardiomyopathy

Method and medium:

Learners participate in the interactive learning modules by correctly answering multiple choice questions dispersed throughout. Learners will be prompted to try again, if a question is answered incorrectly.The course will open in a new tab – to exit the course, simply close the tab.