Premature Ventricular Contractions

Also known as: PVCs

What are premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)?

The ventricles are the lower chambers of the heart. When these chambers experience extra heartbeats that cause problems for a person’s overall heart rate, this is known as a premature ventricular contraction.

What causes premature ventricular contractions?

The exact cause of premature ventricular contractions isn’t entirely clear. It can occur along with other heart diseases, the use of alcohol or drugs, injury to the heart of blood vessels, high blood pressure, medications or certain chemical changes in the body.

What are the symptoms of premature ventricular contractions?

Premature ventricular contractions may not cause any symptoms. In some cases, they can cause the chest to pound, jump, flutter or just make the heartbeat more noticeable in other unusual ways.

What are premature ventricular contractions care options?

Avoiding triggers like drugs or alcohol can help some with premature ventricular contractions. Certain medications can also help regulate the heart rate or treat conditions that contribute to premature ventricular contractions. A medical procedure called radiofrequency catheter ablation can also help with premature ventricular contractions. For the most serious arrhythmias, an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) may be required.


Reviewed by: Anthony F. Rossi, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 1:55:53 PM

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