Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra, abnormal heartbeats that begin in one of your heart's two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing you to feel a flip-flop or skipped beat in your chest. Premature ventricular contractions are very common — they occur in most people at some point.
Premature ventricular contractions are also called:
- Premature ventricular complexes
- Ventricular premature beats
If you have occasional premature ventricular contractions, but you're an otherwise healthy person, there's generally no reason for concern, and no treatment is needed. If you have frequent premature ventricular contractions or underlying heart disease, you may need treatment to help you feel better and treat underlying heart problems.
May. 24, 2011
- Podrid PJ. Clinical significance and treatment of ventricular premature beats. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Podrid PJ. Prevalence and evaluation of ventricular premature beats. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Arrhythmia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/arr/arr_whatis.html. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Ventricular premature beats. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec07/ch075/ch075j.html?qt=premature%20ventricular%20contraction&alt=sh. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Piktel JS. Cardiac rhythm disturbances. In: Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies: 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6357092. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Yealy DM, et al. Dysrhythmias. In: Marx JA, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1128969902&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00077-3--s0190&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00077-3--s0265&uniqId=236989434-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00077-3--s0265. Accessed March 9, 2011.