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torsade de pointes

Pronunciation: tor-sad' de pwant'

Definition: “Twisting of the points,” a form of ventricular tachycardia nearly always due to medications and characterized by a long QT interval and a “short-long-short” sequence in the beat preceding its onset. The QRS complexes during this rhythm tend to show a series of complexes points up followed by complexes points down, often with a narrow waist between and no definite T waves; at one time referred to as “cardiac ballet.”

[Fr. torsade, fringe, twist, or coil, + pointe, point or tip (euphonious for “wave burst”)]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.