Ventricular Tachycardia, with Severe Dilated Cardiomyopathy

by CJ
(Northern Calif)

I am a 39 year old male; living in Northern California, who has Ventricular Tachycardia, with Severe Dilated Cardiomyopathy. I was diagnosed on May 7, 2008, after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest two weeks earlier while working on a remodeling project in my home, fortunately my heart was able to correct itself.


My story starts a year before my Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurred, when I was given a full physical with an EKG that was clear, and had no sign of cardiomyopathy or any other health issues. Six months later I contracted a staph infection while on a business trip to France. The Staph infection attacked my heart and which led to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). After the SCA I went to my primary care physician who gave me a EKG that showed sever left ventricle hypertrophy, at that point I was referred a cardiologist who performed all the standard test, which revealed that my ejection fraction was at 25% and my heart muscle was measured at 7.6 centimeters, which lead to a diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia, with severe dilated cardiomyopathy, with mitral valve prolapse.

After my diagnosis I was given an Angiogram to confirm the findings, and at that time it was recommended by three cardiologists that I receive an Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) immediately. Since I was so young (38) I was not convinced that I needed an ICD, I chose to try to treat my heart with a heart medication regiment for three months, before I would accept the ICD prognosis. Well after three months, my ejection fraction had only increased to 32%, and the heart had not shrunk at all. So on September 4, 2008 I received an ICD. Since I received my ICD I have continued my heart medication regiment, and my ejection fraction has increased to 45% and my heart has reduced in size by .04 centimeters.

This last April 2010 I had two heart arrhythmias that were considered dangerous and came within 1 heart beat from delivering a correction from my ICD. My heart surgeons first comment after the arrhythmias were found was aren’t you glad you have an ICD? I feel that I am alive today due to the technology and medication that has been developed to treat heart diseases. Without the ICD and the heart medication, I would have had another SCA, and would have more than likely not recovered.

I know that I will have to have an ICD and be on heart medication for the rest of my life. Any advice or suggestions on my condition and treatment would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for Ventricular Tachycardia, with Severe Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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been there--doing that!
by: Lora

I also ended up with Cardiomyopathy & V-tach from a flu virus back in 2004 and it took me six months to get to a doctor because I couldn't accept anything was wrong--I was ignoring my symptoms! Finally got to see a cardiologists and the next day had an ICD placed, I was 45 yrs old. Good thing, a month later I received treatment from the device which saved my life! I'm on meds and try to life a healthy lifestyle. I'll be needing to have my device replaced soon (battery life coming to an end). I look forward to living a very long life doing whatever I want. I don't think much about the past and know each day is a gift! My EF was about 20 to 25% and now is around 40 to 42% but that doesn't stop me from playing volleyball, riding bikes, taking walks, traveling or exercising. Live your live CJ !!

my husband's heart
by: Anonymous

This past Thursday night, my husband had a cardiac arrest at home. Luckily I am a nurse and was standing right there. CPR by me and then paramedics for over 30 minutes. Shocked at least 5 times. Now, Sunday evening, he is on a ventilator, propofol keeping him sedated, amiodarone dripping. V-tach runs of at least 6 beats 3-4 times an hour. With decreased sedation, comes agitation and more arrythmias. EEG shows no seizure activity or slowing. Pneumonia due to aspiration. His temperature was up to 101.9 antibiotics started, and is now 100.0. AICD will come after infection is cleared up. I am so scared.

51 male
by: David Streatfeild

Good to know that you are both well and leading a fairly normal life.

I am from the UK and at presnet live and work in Japan, with my Japanese family:

A few months ago I was feeling pretty good and healthy - although overworked. Anyway, I received an influenza jab in September 2011, thereafter my health - coincidence or ney - started to decline: sever coughing, irrited throat etc. returned to the doctor who told me that I had bronchitis, no temperature nor nifluenza. I was skeptical. Several weeks passed and got steadily worse with severe wheezing, coughing, hard to breathe, lethargic, combined with sleep deprivation returned to the doctor his second diagnosis was onset asthma. I was still skeptical; his decisions were all too quick, things got worse.

Consequently, I decided to visit another doctor who was more patient in is examination but unfortunately, diagnosed me as having cardiomyopathy with heart growth of 8cm.

Medication: 7 days dirutic
Future: heart biopsy to ascertain the source
Recommendations: 'NO' salt, fluids fatty foods, excercise, nor flight, DON'T STRESS etc.

My supporting wife unfortunately heard the unfortunate news on her birhday, not very nice and as yet children are unaware of my predicament.

I feel generally lousy but trying to continue as normal - with changes in effect - as possible.

Sorry guys long winded but need to say it.

Thanks for taking the time read.

And it all started with a little bug|!
by: Sandra

Wow, infections and viruses can do strange things!

CJ, you are fortunate to be alive after a sudden cardiac arrest.

I agree with you completely that we are very fortunate to live in a world with the medical procedures and medications that we have today. Even if it means we take meds for the rest of our lives.

If anyone out there has had an experience like CJ, let's hear from you!

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