Premature Atrial Contractions (PACs) & Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) are irregular heartbeats that occur when electrical activity in the heart prematurely occurs, resulting in a premature contraction of the heart, leading to an early heartbeat. PACs originate in the top two chambers of the heart and PVCs originate from the bottom two chambers of the heart. PACs and PVCs can occur due to multiple causes including but not limited to anxiety, stress, drugs, caffeine, alcohol, sleep apnea, thyroid problems, coronary artery disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, and heart failure.
What are the symptoms of PACs and PVCs?
The symptoms of PACs and PVCs may include chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, and fatigue. In certain cases, frequent PVCs can lead to heart failure. Sometimes, the PACs and PVCs may cause no symptoms and can be benign.
How are PACs and PVCs diagnosed?
PACs and PVCs are diagnosed based on the history, physical exam, ECG/EKG, and the results of heart monitoring such as a Holter monitor. The heart monitor can be used to quantify the PAC and/or PVC burden and assess for single versus multiple locations of these arrhythmias to help guide further management.
To make an appointment with our Hannibal Regional cardiac electrophysiologist, please call (573) 629-3500.
Our Cardiac Electrophysiologist
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