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torsades de pointes


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A very dangerous form of ventricular tachycardia characterized by a sinusoidal (twisting) pattern on the electrocardiogram due to a constantly shifting cardiac electrical vector (hence the French term, meaning ‘twisting of points’). It is usually a side-effect of medication but may also occur in patients with severe deficiency of potassium or magnesium or inherited abnormalities of the cardiac electrical system. see long QT syndrome.

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