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a type of arrhythmia marked by attacks during which the heartbeat is accelerated while the normal order of cardiac contractions is retained. A distinction is made between supraventricular and ventricular forms of paroxysmal tachycardia. The supraventricular form generally occurs in neuroses and results in a heart rate of 180— 260 beats per minute. Ventricular paroxysmal tachycardia generally arises in heart disease and is characterized by a heart rate of 140–200 beats per minute; the condition is also accompanied by vertigo, weakness, pallor, progressive dyspnea, cyanosis, and coughing. With both forms, an attack can last from several minutes to several days or longer and can end as suddenly as it begins.
Paroxysmal tachycardia is treated with antiarrhythmic agents, cardiac glycosides, Inderal, and electric cardiac pacemakers. In the supraventricular form, vagal tone is increased by special techniques, for example, by applying pressure to the eyeballs.