February 4, 2023
Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVCs)

Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVCs) – An Overview

Premature Ventricular Contraction is an early ventricular complex, ventricular premature beat, and ventricular extrasystole. In addition, when extra heartbeats begin in one of the two lowering chambers in the heart is called premature ventricular contraction.

This abnormal contraction begins in the ventricles. This is a common event, and the heartbeat is initiated by Purkinje fibers in the ventricles rather than by the sinoatrial node. This condition disrupts the regular heart rhythm.

Premature Ventricular Contraction Diagnosis

Through Electrocardiogram (ECG), diagnose the source of the extra heartbeat and identify the pattern. Several types of ECG testing are available. Most of the testing devices are carried outside of the hospital. It can detect heart activities for 24 hours or 48 hours, or a week.

The device can be carried in the pocket, belt, or shoulder strap. This device records the heart’s electrical signal by working daily activities like walking, cycling, exercising, etc. This device contains a button, and when you feel the symptoms of the disease, puss the button.

It automatically counts your heartbeat and captures abnormal rhythms. Some types of ECG testing methods are given below:

  • Standard ECG
  • Event recorder
  • Holter monitor
  • Exercise stress ECG

Causes of Premature Ventricular Contraction

The heart rhythm is controlled by the sinoatrial (SA) node or sinus node, a specialized cell in the right atrium. Electrical impulses travel across the atrial from the sinus node to the ventricles, causing them to contract and pump blood to the lungs and body.

When the heart faces premature ventricular contraction, normal activity is disrupted and creates extra heartbeats. Some causes are responsible for premature ventricular contraction. Those are:

  1. Consumption of alcohol
  2. Taking illegal drugs
  3. Certain types of medicines as decongestants and antihistamines
  4. Increased levels of adrenaline in the body may be caused by exercise, anxiety, caffeine, or tobacco
  5. Heart muscle injuries from various diseases such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, or congenital heart disease.
  6. High blood calcium
  7. Lack of sleep

Some other causes are also responsible for premature ventricular contraction. Such as:

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Cold or Hay
  3. Fever Medicines
  4. Smoking
  5. Asthma Medicines
  6. Stress or Fatigue etc.

Symptoms of Premature Ventricular Contractions

Generally, premature ventricular contractions cause very few symptoms or no symptoms at all. Symptoms are more pronounced at times and stress. Women may be more aware of PVCs during their menstrual period. Sometimes individual may feel some odd sensation in his chest. Such as:

  1. Skipped beats or missed beats
  2. Increased awareness of heartbeats
  3. Pounding or jumping
  4. Fluttering
  5. Chest pain
  6. Strong heartbeat
  7. Fatigue or hyperventilation after exercise

Treatment of Premature Ventricular Contraction

PVCs required no treatment if there are minimal symptoms. However, if doctors suspect it is needed treatment, they will suggest a treatment plan. The plan can include:

  1. The doctor suggests some effective medicines to treat Premature Ventricular Contraction. Although these drugs suppress PVC, they also increase their risk of death. For example, Moricizine can increase the risk of death, but it can reduce the death risk when used with diuretics. Some other medications may include Antiarrhythmic, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, etc.
  2. Electrolyte replacement also is an effective treatment for premature ventricular contraction. Magnesium supplements (e.g., magnesium citrate, orotate, Maalox, etc.), and potassium supplements (e.g., chloride potassium with nitrate ion).
  3. Radiofrequency catheter ablation treatment can destroy the area of tissues responsible for premature ventricular contractions.
  4. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

Lifestyle modification also is an effective way to decrease the risk of premature ventricular contractions. Lifestyle modification may include avoiding alcohol and tobacco, managing caffeine consumption, managing stress, and controlling various diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, etc.

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