I know lots of folks have PVCs and I have had them for MANY years (54 yrs old). I have had several tests and my doctor says I appear to be very healthy so not to worry. I continue to get them constantly throughout the day so my curiosity go the better of me and I picked up a portable ECG device (Heal Force Prince 180b) and the 3 lead accessory along with some electrodes. Thought I would post a couple of pics...
First, my normal ECG:
You can see it is very typical and you can see the P, QRS and T waves.
Now, here is a pic when I am having PVCs...
You can see the wide QRS wave (the tall spike) and how frequently it happens.
These two measurements were done within 30 minutes of each other (first the PVC and 30 minutes later the normal measurement). It has been another 45 minutes and I am having non-stop PVCs again.
I have stopped worrying too much about them, but it is definitely odd when I go to bed and can feel the "da dump... da dump.......DUMP"
I also have a heart stethoscope (Littmann Cardiology II SE) and will listen to the PVCs... is sounds more like "DUMP..Da..da..da.........DUMP..Da..da..da"
Thought I would add to this some simple pics showing the P,Q,R,S & T waves. Normal Rhythm:
And then a PVC rhythm:
You can see the width of the QRS Complex is greater than .12 ms (distance between dots is .04 secs). Also, not being a doctor, it is not clear if the wave before the PVC is a T or a P. Also, after the PVC, I am not sure if that little bump is a T.
I get PVCs, but in my particular case, usually only when I am about to enter/entering the sleep cycle (so-called sleep induced arrhythmia).
"I have had several tests and my doctor says I appear to be very healthy so not to worry. I continue to get them constantly throughout the day."
The most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), has various causes or triggers, cardiac and non-cardiac.
Most often, PVCs are typically harmless, be it isolated (single), couplets (2-in-row), triplets (3-in-a-row) or salvos (short bursts of 3 or more in-a-row), bigeminy (occurring every other beat), trigeminy (occurring every third beat), quadrigeminy (occurring every fourth beat), etc., etc.
HOWEVER, the main problem or concern (even more so, much more emphasized for those with certain major or serious heart conditions) with PVCs is if/when sustained ventricular tachycardia (runs of PVCs over 30 seconds) occurs.
Symptoms that may/can occur wih PVCs includes none at all or chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, near-syncope or syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, includes fainting and passing out).
If I were you, I would be on the safe side and request a visit to the cardiologist; more specifically, the electrophysiologist.
That said, my husband had the same result and his PCP just told him to cut down on caffeine. He recently went into cardiac arrest due to PVCs kicking in to Vfib while playing soccer. He is a healthy 49-year old with no other symptoms prior than the frequent arrhythmia. He was told he had an "extra signal" that would throw in a pulse and kick his regular rhythm out of whack. The explosive anaerobic soccer play was enough activity to kick the PVCs into chaos. His only indication that he might have had a problem was a shortness of breath during exercise.
My hubby now has an ICD and is very lucky to be alive. His teammates kept him alive with compression-only CPR for 15 minutes while waiting for EMTs to arrive.
I am not saying you will go into cardiac arrest because you have PVCs...but frequent PVCs have underlying explanations that only an electrophysiologist is qualified to answer. I hope you get it checked out!!!
"He recently went into cardiac arrest due to PVCs kicking in to Vfib while playing soccer."
"The explosive anaerobic soccer play was enough activity to kick the PVCs into chaos."
While data would suggest that this is considered rare when it comes to PVCs, on the other hand, as I had posted previously in reply -
Themain problem or concern (even more so, much more emphasized for those with certain major or serious heart conditions) with PVCs is if/when sustained ventricular tachycardia (runs of PVCs over 30 seconds) occurs.
Best of luck to your husband and you down the road of life.
It's true that people with very frequent PVC's can be at risk for developing a cardiomyopathy - or reduced heart function. That's why some doctors will occasionally order an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) for people with very frequent PVC's (thousands every day) to confirm that the heart is structurally and functionally normal. If that test looks good, then doctors sometimes recommend treatment with medications like beta-blockers for patients who are more symptomatic. For those who don't feel them very much, then medication is often not prescribed.
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