What Is Premature Ventricular Contraction?

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

A picture of a heart that can be affected by premature ventricular contractions causesOne of the most essential indications that an individual has heart disease are abnormalities of the heart beat otherwise known as cardiac arrhythmias. One of the more common types of cardiac arrhythmias are known as premature ventricular contractions which are brought about by irregular heartbeats known as ectopic heartbeats. Electrocardiograms are a diagnosis tool used to detect premature ventricular contractions, as the signals represent importance for predicting possibly incoming heart failure. A study was conducted with the focus of classifying and categorising premature ventricular contraction heartbeats represented on electrocardiogram signals with attention to identifying premature ventricular contraction abnormalities.

With our ever increasing diets focused on over eating and processed foods laden with fats, sugars and salts, cardiovascular disease has recently been reported as one of the essential and major underlying causes of deaths, being responsible for about 50% of deaths reported in the United States of America. It is essential a goal be set in reducing the rates of mortality with cardiovascular disease as the cause, by way of the monitoring of heart cycles in order to early detect and prevent future complications and should be of importance for both related health professionals and cardiologists.

A cardiac monitor readout of heartbeat flatlining, suggesting death from cardiac or premature ventricular contractions causesAn abnormal heartbeat or cardiac rhythm is an arrhythmia and heart arrhythmias are defined by any defect or disruption with regularity and rate of the transmission of electrical impulses from the heart. One of the most significant cardiac arrhythmias that can have debilitating effects on the health of the heart is known as premature ventricular contractions. The myocardium is depolarised early and is initiated in the ventricular zone and is known as a vastly effecting type of arrhythmia seen in adults. Premature ventricular contractions are commonly seen, with 1 to 4% of the population in America experiencing it. It is often associated with structural heart pathology which then can lead to an increased risk of sudden death via myocardial infarction.

The assessment, diagnosis and management of premature ventricular contraction is a complex issue. Recently, many studies and research has been executed to determine automatic analysis of cardiovascular complications. Research cohorts are trying to place premature ventricular contractions in categories via classification using methods such as statistical analysis. Another method used an algorithm for detection of premature ventricular contraction as a low computational tool.

In many cases, individuals who are healthy can suddenly experience premature ventricular contraction and in a lot of instances, the underlying cause cannot be found. When the premature ventricular contractions are occurring at a rate of high frequency and/or for periods of extended time, the condition is most likely to be related to condition of the heart or injury or other conditions such as imbalance of chemicals in the body. Some cases have also shown links of premature ventricular contraction related to use of certain medications, consumption of alcohol, use of prohibited drugs and high stress or adrenaline levels caused by external influences or physical exertion.

If the condition of premature ventricular contraction is present with no other comorbidities related to the heart or structural complications, then treatment is often found to be unnecessary. Individuals can take control of the occurrence of premature ventricular contractions by removing or lowering consumption of alcohol and caffeine, smoking and avoiding stressful factors impacting on their body and mind. If there is a medication you are taking that is found to be the underlying cause of your regular occurrence of premature ventricular contraction, it may prove prudent to discuss alternatives with your physician. When the underlying cause is due to heart disease or injury to structural integrity, then treating the underlying heart condition will often make the premature ventricular contractions disappear.

Medications for Premature Ventricular Contractions Causes

Pills spilling out of a container, beta blockers for alleviating premature ventricular contractions causesMedications known as a beta blocker may be provided by your physicians who have had a heart attack or failure to assist with the premature ventricular contractions. Another treatment known as ablation is used for patients who suffer from frequent reoccurrence and extended lengths of premature ventricular contractions. With ablation therapy, there are radiofrequency waves applied to the tissue of the heart to eradicate really small amounts, from where the irregular heartbeat originates. It is a process that is invasive in a small way and is usually left for patients who cannot take beta blocker medication, if the medication is not effective or if the patient cannot comply with the long term use of it.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

A picture of a heart that can be affected by premature ventricular contractions causes

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