Polymorphic catecholergic ventricular tachycardia or CPVT is an inherited disease that causes an irregular heart rhythm. Individuals with CPVT often have an abnormal heart beat when their adrenaline rises, typically during exercise or stress. This irregular heartbeat can lead to fainting, seizures, or even cardiac arrest and death if not properly managed. Faints not related to CPVT usually have warning signs such as dizziness and blurred vision. However, CPVT related faints often happen suddenly and without warning.
The onset of CPVT typically happens between ages 7 and 12, but it can also occur later in life. The disease is transmitted from parent to child, meaning that individuals with family history of CPVT are at greater risk of developing it. However, CPVT can also occur from a sporadic mutation of a gene, meaning that neither parent of the affected individual carried the gene.
CPVT can be diagnosed through an exercise test, where the individual exercises while the doctor monitors for irregular heart rhythms. In younger children, doctors can monitor the heart for 24 hours, using a halter monitor, instead of doing the exercise test.
Treatment of CPVT can include medication, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to help prevent irregular heart rhythm, or surgery. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with polymorphic catecholergic ventricular tachycardia, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also a good source of information. Description Last Updated: Sep 30, 2017