Learn About Ectopic Heartbeat

What is the definition of Ectopic Heartbeat?

Ectopic heartbeats are changes in a heartbeat that is otherwise normal. These changes lead to extra or skipped heartbeats. There is often not a clear cause for these changes. They are common.

The two most common types of ectopic heartbeats are:

  • Premature ventricular contractions (PVC)
  • Premature atrial contractions (PAC)
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What are the alternative names for Ectopic Heartbeat?

PVB (premature ventricular beat); Premature beats; PVC (premature ventricular complex/contraction); Extrasystole; Premature supraventricular contractions; PAC; Premature atrial contraction; Abnormal heartbeat

What are the causes of Ectopic Heartbeat?

Ectopic heartbeats are sometimes seen with:

  • Changes in the blood, such as a low potassium level (hypokalemia)
  • Decrease in blood supply to the heart
  • When the heart is enlarged or structurally abnormal

Ectopic beats may be caused or made worse by smoking, alcohol use, caffeine, stimulant medicines, and some street drugs.

Ectopic heartbeats are rare in children without heart disease that was present at birth (congenital). Most extra heartbeats in children are PACs. These are often benign.

In adults, ectopic heartbeats are common. They are most often due to PACs or PVCs. Your health care provider should look into the cause when they are frequent. Treatment is directed at symptoms and the underlying cause.

What are the symptoms of Ectopic Heartbeat?

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling your heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Feeling like your heart stopped or skipped a beat
  • Feeling of occasional, forceful beats

Note: There may be no symptoms.

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What are the current treatments for Ectopic Heartbeat?

The following may help reduce ectopic heartbeats for some people:

  • Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco
  • Regular exercise for people who are inactive

Many ectopic heartbeats do not need to be treated. The condition is only treated if your symptoms are severe or if the extra beats occur very often.

The cause of the heartbeats, if it can be found, may also need to be treated.

Who are the top Ectopic Heartbeat Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
17
conditions
Cardiology
Cardiac Electrophysiology

Kaweah Health

Cardiac Electrophysiology And Arrhythmia Service

500 Parnassus Ave 
San Francisco, CA 94143

Edward Gerstenfeld is a Cardiologist and a Cardiac Electrophysiologist in San Francisco, California. Dr. Gerstenfeld has been practicing medicine for over 29 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Ectopic Heartbeat. He is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Ectopic Heartbeat, Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation, and Cardiac Ablation. He is licensed to treat patients in Pennsylvania.

Elite
Highly rated in
24
conditions
Cardiac Electrophysiology
Cardiology

Penn Medicine

Perelman Center For Advanced Medicine

3400 Civic Center Blvd 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Francis Marchlinski is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist and a Cardiologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Marchlinski has been practicing medicine for over 46 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Ectopic Heartbeat. He is also highly rated in 24 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Arrhythmias, Ventricular Tachycardia, Ectopic Heartbeat, and Cardiac Ablation. He is licensed to treat patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Dr. Marchlinski is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
15
conditions
Cardiac Electrophysiology
Cardiology

BJC HealthCare

Center For Advance Medicine

4921 Parkview Pl 
St. Louis, MO 63110

Phillip Cuculich is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist and a Cardiologist in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Cuculich has been practicing medicine for over 21 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Ectopic Heartbeat. He is also highly rated in 15 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Ectopic Heartbeat, Arrhythmias, Ventricular Tachycardia, and Cardiac Ablation. He is licensed to treat patients in Missouri. Dr. Cuculich is currently accepting new patients.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Ectopic Heartbeat?

In some cases, ectopic heartbeats may mean you are at greater risk for serious abnormal heart rhythms, such as ventricular tachycardia.

When should I contact a medical professional for Ectopic Heartbeat?

Call your provider if:

  • You keep feeling the sensation of your heart pounding or racing (palpitations).
  • You have palpitations with chest pain or other symptoms.
  • You have this condition and your symptoms get worse or do not improve with treatment.
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Myocarditis Causing Premature Ventricular Contractions:Insights From the MAVERIC Registry
What are the Latest Advances for Ectopic Heartbeat?
Left atrial functions in long term after catheter ablation of premature ventricular complexes.
Adaptive support ventilation as an effective treatment option for central sleep apnea in an older adult with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a case report.
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Catheter ablation of left ventricle summit PVC using anterior interventricular vein approach.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : April 30, 2020
Published By : Thomas S. Metkus, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Fang JC, O'Gara PT. History and physical examination: an evidence-based approach. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 10.

Olgin JE. Approach to the patient with suspected arrhythmias. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 56.