In experimental models of coronary occlusion, the physiopathology of ventricular arrhythmias varies with its timing, there being three main phases: early, late and chronic. The early phase covers the first 30 minutes and is dominated by tachycardias and fibrillations resulting from multiple micro-reentry circuits which are the consequence of major changes in conduction and excitability created by acute ischaemia. These arrhythmias may be triggered by extrasystoles which have a different mechanism related to the injury current generated in the border zone between ischaemic and healthy cells. The late phase lasts about 72 hours: it is characterised by polymorphic ventricular extrasystoles and bursts of relatively slow ventricular tachycardia. Much more rapid tachycardia can be induced by stimulation. The origin of these arrhythmias is usually in the surviving Purkinje fibres of the subendocardium. The mechanisms are variable: abnormal automaticity, reentry or activity triggered by delayed after depolarisations. During the chronic phase, reentrant tachycardia is possible but only when induced by stimulation. Delayed conduction is the consequence of non-uniform antisotropism related to the disorientation of the myocardial fibres caused by fibrosis. In the clinical situation, most research has been centered on sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardias of the chronic phase. Their mechanism is almost exclusively reentry (the circuits usually being located in the subendocardium) as suggested by the triggering and interruption of clinical tachycardias by stimulation, the recording of fragmented activation or prepotentials at the site of emergence of the tachycardia and the phenomena of pacing.