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Breathlessness, dizziness. Have PVCs. When do you know they are causing these symptoms?

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When do you know when pvcs are causing a problem like short breath dizziness what amount is considered normal.
Posted Tue, 9 Apr 2013 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 6 days later

Thanks for your query.

1. All premature ventricular contractions (PVC) are not normal. Irrespective of the number of PVC present, these are considered abnormal.

2. However whether or not the PVC's are concerning and needs attention can be determined based on clinical symptoms, number of PVC and presence of associated illness.

3. Usually occasional premature ventricular contractions lasting for few second cause a skipped beat that goes unnoticed. They do not cause concerns.

4. Symptoms like short breath and dizziness are caused if the PVCS are frequent or other associated heart disease is present.

5. If there is no associated heart disease and the patient is asymptomatic, then treatment is not indicated.

6. If they are frequent and associated with symptoms, it needs to be evaluated. Electrolyte abnormalities (especially hypokalemia or hyperkalemia and hypomagnesemia), hyperthyroidism or occult heart disease should be excluded.

7. Medicines are given only if symptoms are present. Again medicine should be started after doing ECG and other tests like echocardiography to find out more about cardiac function. The most common class of medicine used is beta-blocker. It is safer than the other anti-arrhythmic drugs used.

Hope I addressed your concern. Let me know if I can help you further.

Dr Vaishalee Punj
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