I started developing palpitations (3 or 4 in one minute) after seeing a cardiologist who said I had a new heart murmur. He set me up for an echo and treadmill test, but because he was to be out of the office for his daughter's wedding for almost two weeks, I had to wait for the tests. During that time I developed the palpitations and had periods of lightheadedness. I was very stressed because he was out of the office. I went to another doctor for the echo (which was normal). Finally, when he returned, during my treadmill test I went into ventricular tachycardia. He said I "scared him to death". I experienced a few ectopic beats at first, then went into the VT. He had taken me off the treadmill because of the ectopic beats and then I went into VT. The run was about 8 seconds, but I almost passed out while walking to the table. The next day I had a heart catherization (20% in two arteries) and was turned over to an EP. I was put on Verapimil (for arrhythmia) and wore a heart monitor for a month. It showed no VT but during periods of lightheadedness my pulse was as low as 40 - I'm not sure if this was result of the medication. The EP said "I have V-tach.", because I couldn't do what I did on the treadmill if I didn't have it. He also said he thinks I have had it all my life, I just didn't know it. He felt the medication was controlling the VT, but it was causing severe fatigue, and he said I did not have to take it. He also said it would not "prolong my life". He said he could try ablation and we had about a 60% chance of finding it and correcting it, or I could take the verapimil on the days I have the palpitations. He also said I had a less than 1% chance of dying from the VT. I felt, how does he know?
I went back to my cardiologist, who pushed me to not let this drop. I asked my cardiologist if he would do another treadmill test. He said he would not, again because I "scared him to death". He set me up for a second opinion. This EP told me he felt there was a 0% chance of finding the arrhythmia during ablation. He also felt I have not had it all my life. I asked for another treadmill test, this time at a hospital where I would be safer. I developed "frequent ventricular ectopy" but I walked as long as I could. I never went into VT. The doctor didn't like the results. He mentioned the word "catecholemineric", which I know means arrhythmia with exercise. He ordered a cardiac MRI, which was normal.
He has not set up another appointment, but after a week and a half I am pressing his office to ask him if he wants to see me again. I have read that with some forms of VT you have normal heart function, normal cath., etc. My cardiologist at home wants me to get to the bottom of this.
In the past, in my early twenty's, I had a grand mal seizure. The doctor couldn't determine the cause of it. I have also experienced episodes of lightheartedness, again of undetermined cause. The first EP said the grand mal seizure could have been VT.
I would appreciate any input. Has anyone found much later in life that they have VT? Also, has anyone experienced seizures, or periods of lightheadedness at times during their life before they found they had VT? I am also concerned because I have 3 grandchildren who run cross-country, and if this could be an inherited form.
The first EP said I would not know if I had VT unless I had symptoms. The symptom during the first treadmill when I went into VT was lightheadedness, and almost passing out. I also had lightheadedness before I went into the grand mal seizure. I was out for several hours that time.