Ventricular fibrillation is a chaotic, disorganized rhythm in which the ventricles rapidly and asynchronously quiver. It is fatal and warrants immediate electrical cardioversion; otherwise, asystole is imminent. Mechanisms of ventricular arrythmia include increased automaticity (as occurs with ischemia or hyperkalemia), triggered activity from early or late afterdepolarizations (as occurs with conditions that cause prolonged QT), and reentry (as occurs with a scar from a prior myocardial infarction).
- European Heart Rhythm Association, Heart Rhythm Society, Zipes DP, et al. Acc/aha/esc 2006 guidelines for management of patients with ventricular arrhythmias and the prevention of sudden cardiac death: a report of the american college of cardiology/american heart association task force and the european society of cardiology committee for practice guidelines(Writing committee to develop guidelines for management of patients with ventricular arrhythmias and the prevention of sudden cardiac death). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;48(5):e247-346.