Premature ventricular beats... PVB
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kimtexas1026 posted:
Hi! I'm not really sure why my main question should be, but while I'm waiting for my follow-up appointment w/ my primary doctor (to discuss Holter monitor results), I was hoping to get a few answers/suggestions.

I have my Holter report, which my Dr. will have by the time I go to my appointment on Monday, but my symptoms are progressing very rapidly, so I'm a little curious what could be going on. I guess my main question is, can "premature ventricular beats", which coincided with my symptoms on the Holter, can PVB's EVER be more than just "benign"--as I've read online?

I'm a 33yr old female... 130lbs (5'4" tall), with "skipped beats" (which present as a fluttering/flip-flopping of the heart feeling, followed by "pounding" when the next beat DOES come), shortness of breath (progressing rapidly, whereas I NOW can't eat or have a conversation w/ having to stop & catch my breath every 10-20 seconds), sudden rapid heartbeat (periodically... it will SHOOT up to 120-140bpm when I'm not doing anything), fluctuating blood pressure ("normal" for ME is 100/60, which has now been as high as 160/105, but goes back & forth), chest pain (not a prevalent symptom--like the shortness of breath & chest fluttering), extreme thirst (has gotten progressively worse over the last week... & I'm NOT diabetic, nor do I have diabetes in my family), extreme fatigue (NO energy to do ANYTHING, headaches (off & on, but not as much lately), fever & constant elevated body temp (sometimes breaking out in a sweat, even though I USED to be the one who was always cold)... I think those are all the symptoms I can remember as of now.

The most bothersome of these symptoms, & probably the most concerning, is the shortness of breath & chest "flutters" (in that order). I know it doesn't take long to deprive the brain of oxygen, so the SOB concerns me the most... it's rapidly getting worse, & am worried that it may progress to me becoming SO short of breath, that I won't have time to get to the hospital, if I needed to. Does this sound like just "benign PVB's" to anyone? I TRY not to worry about it too much because I know worrying could just make things worse (the palpitations, shortness of breath, etc)... but it DOES bother me that I'm only 33 & having the type of symptoms that I like to think only come with increased age.

So, I guess my question should be: Am I correct in waiting for my scheduled appointment on Monday, or should I be going to the ER soon? Thanks to anyone with any advice/suggestions. ~Kim
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Verree; responded:
Kim, I am not an expert, but a few years ago did have had a long episode of asymptomatic PVCs which lasted several weeks. I was an EMT in my younger days, so was able to have the local fire medics document that my abnormalities were occurring every 2-3 beats. As I recall, I certainly did not feel "normal" during this time, but did not have the symptoms you describe, which seem more severe. I do now have a heart rhythm problem on a regular basis, but not PVCs.

I would suggest that you contact the advise nurse at your local ER soon, and see if they feel you should be seen. Premature beats can be life-threatening, but are also normal for some people, even some younger people. The only way to tell what's going on is to be seen, have tests. I also feel that it's much better for YOU to rule out the worry, and not wait too long. I'd rather go to the ER, spend the money, spend several hours, and find out that I'm okay, than to have the symptoms you describe and worry. They understand.

So please call them, or just go.
 
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CardiostarUSA1 responded:
Hi Kim:

The most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many ♥-healthy individuals), described that the heart is flip-flopping, fluttering, jumping, pausing or stopping briefly (though it's actually not doing that), pounding, skipping, thumping, or strong, hard, or forceful beats being felt in the chest, neck, throat, has various causes (cardiac and non-cardiac) or triggers.

PVCs are typically harmless (benign), 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 when sustained ventricular tachycardia (runs of PVCs over 30 seconds) occurs.

Also, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT, runs of PVCs under 30 seconds, but typically not salvos) may/can become serious as well if it occurs frequently (episodes are grouped closely/tightly together).

PVCs (or premature atrial contractions, PACs) may/can occur with/in the presence of bradycardia (heart rate under 60 beats per minute), tachycardia or supraventricular tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute), and symptoms may/can occur with PVCs or PACs, such as chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, which includes passing out or fainting).

Most important, communicate/interact well with your doctor(s). Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,

CardioStar☆

WebMD community member (8/99)

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