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Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Premature Ventricular Contractions PVC ?

The most common cause of irregular heart rhythms, premature ventricular contraction (PVC) is an early heartbeat that originates in the ventricles and causes disruption of normal heart rhythms.

Such a heartbeat is initiated by the purkinje fibers rather than the sinoatrial node (the normal heartbeat initiator) in the ventricles.

The affected pattern of heartbeats is characterized by a normal beat, an extra beat (the PVC), a slight pause, and then a stronger-than-normal beat.

The reason for a stringer beat is due to the fact that the heart fills with more blood during the pause following the PVC, giving the next beat extra force. Such a pattern may occur randomly or at definite intervals.

Also known as premature ventricular complex, ventricular premature beat, or ventricular extrasystole, PVC can be detected via an ECG and may require treatment in case of frequent occurrences of irregularity in heartbeats.

Causes Of Premature Ventricular Contractions PVC:

PVC can be caused by a number of factors, which may include:

  • Adrenaline excess
  • High blood calcium
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Medications
  • digoxin, which increases heart contraction
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • Chemical (electrolyte) problems in the blood
  • Drugs such as:
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cocaine
  • Theobromine
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Hypercapnia (CO2 poisoning)
  • Hypoxia
  • Ischemia
  • Lack of sleep/exhaustion
  • Magnesium and potassium deficiency
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Myocardial contusion
  • Myocarditis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Thyroid problems

Although PVC can occur to anyone, elderly and men are more prone to it than others.

Symptoms Of Premature Ventricular Contractions PVC:

The following signs and symptoms are exhibited by those who develop PVC:

  • Abnormal ECG
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • palpitations
  • Feeling of occasional, forceful beats
  • Increased awareness of the heart beat
  • A feeling characterized by flip-flops and fluttering

Diagnosis Of Premature Ventricular Contractions PVC:

ECG is the only way of diagnosing PVC. It helps in detecting the extra beats, identifying the pattern and in looking for underlying heart disease.

The following tests are included in ECG:

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

Treatment Of Premature Ventricular Contractions PVC:

The following treatment options are available:

  • Medications
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Beta blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Electrolytes replacement
  • Magnesium supplements
  • magnesium citrate
  • orotate
  • Maalox
  • Potassium supplements
  • chloride potassium with citrate ion
  • Radiofrequency catheter ablation treatment.
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Therapy or support group

By : Natural Health News

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