Premature Atrial/Ventricular Contractions

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Premature Atrial/Ventricular Contractions is when the upper chamber or the lower chamber of the heart start to beat extra heartbeats that when they are not supposed to. This will disrupt the regular heart rhythm and make it seem like there is a fluttering or skipped beat in the chest.

Causes:

Premature atrial/ventricular contractions can be caused by the following

  • Medications like antihistamines
  • Increased adrenaline due to caffeine, tobacco, exercise, or anxiety
  • Injury to the heart from coronary artery disease, congenital heart failure, high blood pressure, or heart failure

Symptoms:

Premature atrial/ventricular contractions often causse mild to no symptoms. These symptoms that may be experienced include

  • Fluttering chest
  • Pounding of the chest
  • Skipped or missed heartbeats
  • Increased awareness of the heartbeat

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose premature atrial/ventricular contractions. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Stress electrocardiogram
  • Holter monitor

Treatments:

In most cases, patients with premature atrial/ventricular contractions will not need treatment, however, if the patient has serious rhythm problems, the doctor may suggest the following treatment methods

  • Medication
  • Radiofrequency catheter ablation

Lifestyle Changes:

The doctor may suggest lifestyle changes to control premature atrial/ventricular contractions. These suggestions may include

  • Reduce amount of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, or recreational drugs
  • Manage stress

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