Ventricular Fibrillation ECG Review

Ventricular fibrillation is often a fatal arrhythmia. It occurs when the ventricular rate exceeds 400.

In this setting, virtually no forward cardiac output occurs. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) should be instituted immediately, including emergent electrical cardioversion. This is frequently accomplished using an automated external defibrillator (AED). Ventricular fibrillation is the main cause of sudden death in patients with myocardial infarction. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are recommended in certain situations to abort sudden cardiac death from ventricular fibrillation.


  1. Chou's Electrocardiography in Clinical Practice: Adult and Pediatric, Sixth Edition, Saunders, Philadelphia, 2008.
  2. Surawicz B, et al. Circulation. 2009;119:e235-240.