Tachycardia is a faster than normal heart rate. A healthy adult heart normally beats 60 to 100 times a minute when a person is at rest. If you have tachycardia (tak-ih-KAHR-de-uh), the rate in the upper chambers or lower chambers of the heart, or both, are increased significantly.

Heart rate is controlled by electrical signals sent across heart tissues. Tachycardia occurs when an abnormality in the heart produces rapid electrical signals.

In some cases, tachycardias may cause no symptoms or complications. However, tachycardias can seriously disrupt normal heart function, increase the risk of stroke, or cause sudden cardiac arrest or death.

Treatments may help control a rapid heartbeat or manage diseases contributing to tachycardia.

May. 25, 2011