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PVC's and VT
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PVC's and VT

Hi again! just a breif recap. im 23 have had within the past year 2 echos, cardiac MRI, 2 stress tests, 3 holters, blood work, and event monitor. everything normal except PVC's and PAC's. im on 200mg sectral once a day. im affraid to get off the meds in fear that PVC's could go into VT or VF and my docs want to see me off the pills in the next 3 months. my questions are 1. whats the difference between PVC's and VT? 2. what keeps PVC's (in a healthy heart) from turning into VT/VF? 3. my PVC's seem to have been caused by ephedra free diet pills (not takeing anymore). are my PVC's makeing my heart more suceptible to serious arrhythmias? 4. i get PVC's (sometimes) with exercise. is it possible for them to go into VT duing this time? 5. the most PVC's ive gotten are 300. when i get couplets, bigem,trigem besides the discomfort can these cause or lead to death in my situation? there is no heart disease or arrhythmias in my father or mothers side. personally im affraid the diet pills did some undetectable damage...i took the pills for 6 weeks, stopped takeing them for 3 months, then took them for 3 weeks. at the end of the 3 weeks is when i felt the weird fluttering so i stopped takeing the pills...learned my leason. THANK YOU!
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hi Sandro,

It is amazing how common this fear is and it causes SO many people with healthy hearts (minus PVCs) fears of sudden death.  One way to think about it is that if PVCs commonly lead to sudden death, we would be putting ICDs in everyone!  It is rare day when I see a holter without PVCS (some have 1, 10 or 30,000).

1. whats the difference between PVC's and VT?

There is no way to answer this simply.  PVCs can be caused by increased firing of cells and sometimes re-entrant loops that only allow one or two PVCs.  VT usually requires a reentry loop around an anatomical or temporary electrical area, although some forms of VT can arise from cells with increased firing (automaticity).  This is not a good explanation though -- it is not a simple answer.



2. what keeps PVC's (in a healthy heart) from turning into VT/VF?
You have to have the substrate to support VT like scars or temporary electrical barriers.

3. my PVC's seem to have been caused by ephedra free diet pills (not takeing anymore). are my PVC's makeing my heart more suceptible to serious arrhythmias?

Not if if you have a normal heart.

4. i get PVC's (sometimes) with exercise. is it possible for them to go into VT duing this time?

Is it possible yes, is it likely -- no.  Most healthy heart VT presents with VT, not PVCs.

5. the most PVC's ive gotten are 300. when i get couplets, bigem,trigem besides the discomfort can these cause or lead to death in my situation?

That isn't very many PVCs.  I am not trying to minimize your numbers but I wouldn't think much of this.  When  you start approaching 10,000 or more, you are having a lot of PVCs and we sometimes will ablate these.


there is no heart disease or arrhythmias in my father or mothers side. personally im affraid the diet pills did some undetectable damage...i took the pills for 6 weeks, stopped takeing them for 3 months, then took them for 3 weeks. at the end of the 3 weeks is when i felt the weird fluttering so i stopped takeing the pills...

I agree you shouldn't take the diet pills, but I doubt they did any permenant damage to you heart.

Thanks for posting.
24 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
what keeps PVC's (in a healthy heart) from turning into VT/VF?

great question, was going to be one of mine in a few months lol...  I took ephedra in my 20's and remember being on an exercise bike and my heart just went wild for about 5 seconds... I was also taking aspirin with it to raise body temp. a degree... crazy things we do when we're young huh!

awaiting the Doc's response to this one!
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Avatar_n_tn
I was told that if you have a structurally abnormal heart you are suciptible to vtac. But with no structural abnormaility your heart rythm just goes back to its correct pathway unlike a heart that is abnormal it can go off rythm into another pathway causing suseptibility.
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84483_tn?1289941537
I'm not sure but I think this was explained in a previous question, "could be wrong", I think to maintain VT the heart must have a reentry circuit within the the ventricle to maintain sustained VT such a scar from a previous MI "heart attack" , severe coronary heart disease or one of the syndromes such as Long Qt, HCM, Brugada, ARVD to maintain sustained VT.I'm not doctor but it is my understanding that some VT in a normal heart is termed "idiopathic" and is rarely life threatning in an otherwise normal heart.
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Avatar_n_tn
i got this weird sensation in the chest as i was laying in bed this morning. i felt a little pain (less than a second) and the heart felt as if it was flip-floping in the chest and shakeing... really hard to explain... this lasted about 2 maybe 3 seconds. i had my hand on my pulse before and during the episode. the beating felt (through the pulse) normal but it felt like a PVC's came RIGHT in between two normal beats with no pause, i think my heart rate was 52 or 48. the reason why i had my fingers on my pulse  because yesterday morning i had kinda the same sensation but was to freaked out to check my pulse. the beats felt (through my pulse) like BEAT PVC BEAT. anybody else had this sensation and is it linked more to anxiety? i'm wondering if malnutrition can cause PVC's because i go to a nutritionist and found i was one point away from malnutrition??
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for the comment. do you feel that weird flip floping shakeing feeling? it really freaked me out... i thought my heart was in VT or VF, or something. by the way, never had VT just PVC's.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Sandro,

Yes yes yes!  I get the mysterious flip-flop feeling lots of times.  It feels like a trapped butterfly in my chest cavity trying to escape, beating it's wings furiously (:  It was VERY disturbing the first time I ever felt it.  I thought that it was the end of the road for me.  That was 3 years ago and I've had them documented as pac's and occassional pvc's.  When I get a pvc, it feels like a really really hard thump.  Sometimes it actually causes pain when it thumps, not every time though.  I just ride them out and continue what I was doing.  I've even had a couple runs of pvc's which felt very strange and was caught on a holter.  Totally nothing to worry about they told me.  Take care (:
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Avatar_n_tn
ya, im still at phase 1 of dealing with these PVC's or PAC's. they started in Nov. 05. im affraid theres undetected damage and ive had a cardiac MRI, 2 echos, 2 stress tests, holters, and event monitor which were all normal... i guess haveing these things and the sensations they cause makes me thinks something has been over looked... then again ive seen 8 electrophysiologists.
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84483_tn?1289941537
I know exactly what you are going through, when these PVCs & PACs hit you with such great frequency , you think , gosh there must be something the docs and experts are missing, it's only natural to feel this way and it takes a long for most to accept as you can see by the post here on the forum that for the most they are a part of normal heart action, but  only a very small percentage are bothered by symptoms from them.

Sure PVCs and PACs can trigger some types of SVTs, but then again these are common and benign in 99.999999% of the cases, nothing in life is 100% besides death and taxes, then again that's an old saying but ever so true. Don't worry , relax if you've been told by the experts your heart is fine , trust them and start living , don't let these things cripple you with fear. Good luck. Been there and still fighting, but I refuse to give in.
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks! i thought it was PAC's that can trigger SVT? you know whats funny, i don't care that PAC's could cause a-fib or whatever else, im affraid of the PVC's more because of the way they feel an the thought they can turn into sudden death. i mean, what happens when someone with healthy heart PVC's gets some sort of heart disease or heart attack, have those PVC's gone from being benign to life threatning???
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84483_tn?1289941537
Statistically speaking someone who has had an heart attack or severe coronary heart disease, frequent PVCs can be an indicator or warning of  more serious impending arrhythmias and should be evaluated. Remember I'm not a doctor, always trust your doctor and his opinions and diagnosis. i've personally known persons that have significant MIs(heart attacks) and have 1000s of PVCs throughout the day for many many years with no adverse events because of the PVCs. Usually beta blockers are prescribed for these persons because as far as i know it is the only known line of drugs that have shown to reduce the mortality rates in persons who have had heart attacks and known coronary heart disease.Once again , trust your doctors, this obviously does not apply in your case. Hang tight and take care . DON"T LET PVCs ROB you of the enjoyments in life.
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84483_tn?1289941537
Go to http://www.heartpoint.com/ventricular_arrhythmiasmore.html


This might provide some insight on PVCs and their significance.
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks very much, i appreciate your comments.
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88793_tn?1290230777
My cardio told me I didn't have any PAC or PVC.  I must be the rare one.  Do anyone know, would the pacemaker recording PAC or PVC?  Thanks

Pika
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Avatar_n_tn
im wondering if anybody thinks that with all the docs ive seen and the tests (cardiac MRI, echos,stress tests, holters and event monitor), if the PVC's arent from some undetectable damage. all 8 electros say im FINE, it just ive been getting these PVC's for the past few days with such intensity, never felt them like this so im freaking out and waiting for another one to accur so can get it over with or die. i uped my sectral from 200mg daily to 200 twice daily. im hopeing if i start eating more they might diminish.
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Avatar_f_tn
i know how you feel :o( im 20, when i barely turned 19 i had my first episode of SVT, the pac's and pvc's followed shortly after. I totally relate to not wanting to do anything for fear of being too far away from help if something happens.  Have you seen an electrophysiologist? if you havent you should. He/she might be able to explain better to you your condition. I had an EP study and ablation done just this past april, and it changed my life.. I no longer have the SVT, still the occasional PAC or PVC ( not nearly as much as before) but i have the peace of mind from the ep study of knowing i dont have an extra pathway in the bottom part of my heart, as i did in the top, so i no longer fear  just dropping dead. I just moved out on my own, and am getting over all those old fears. it takes time, and to start the proccess you need to accept fully and 100% that the fear really is all in your mind. I still wont touch anything with caffeine, alcohol, or too much sugar, even though im told nothing will happpen. Being so young and a premed student makes that really hard, but im hoping one day ill just wake up and be over it :) slowly but surely getting there! i hope you feel better
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Avatar_n_tn
i saw a cardiologist a few times. no electrologist. do i really need to see one? i thought most ppl just saw a cardiologist. now that makes me feel a little unsure. how many of you see electrologists???

Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi everyone,

i just don't know what to do anymore...i feel totally defeated by my PVC's. i had two stress tests, echo, countless holters with nothing showing up for years. i am 23 and have had this since i was 16. i just feel like i'm going crazy...i exercise and i get PVC's...and alot of them in a spurt. i do have weeks were i don't have one and during this time i feel powerful and untouchable but it only takes one Pvc to bring me back into a state of anxiety. reading all of your posts is comforting but it doesn't get rid of my anxiety. i continually think that something else is really wrong with my heart and it is taking ovre my life. i am otherwise healthy and what breaks my heart is that i don't exercise like i used to and take part in things like camping or skiing because i am either scared to be away from a hospital or that my heart will stop and i'll die. i don't know if anyone reading this can help me in some way but i need help. please if anyone feels this way write me and tell me about it. i have exhausted my close friends and familiy about this and they seem to just be irrated by me now. i wish eveyone else the best of luck with their issues and hope to hear from someone soon. my email is Nurse_Kagome***@****
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Avatar_f_tn
i dont think you need to no, but ur obviously not 100% comfortable with your cardiologists diagnosis, so seeing an EP doctor might put you more at ease
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Avatar_n_tn
maybe i will talk to my cardiologist when i see hime this month. i have a routine check up and i will inquire about the need for it. i haven't heard of a electrophysiologist before...hehe. well take care!

will any of us be OK with our diagnosis??? haha. probably some day

nurse kagome
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey everyone hang in there ive had pvcs/anxiety now for about 5 years and i'm still here! I get about maybe 3-5 bad ones a week now with little ones in between, don't keep track of those tho. I have the most trouble when i'm not active that's when i notice em the most so instead of just sitting there thinking about it and getting anxious i try to get busy doing something right away  even though it seems like the opposite thing to do which is try and relax, but if you do that it'll never work, believe me. Do whatever you can to get your mind occupied, read, tv, computer, get on the phone, hop in the car, don't think about it, you'll think yourself right into an anxiety attack.
  Also one thing ive tried lately is eliminating caffene and sugar the best i can it seems to help?? anyone else try that??
Good luck all!
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Avatar_n_tn
The information I have read about PVC's on this site has been very helpful. I didn't realise that so many people have these. I started with an episode once a week, then everyday at a specific time for about 3 hours and finally the big one that lasted 9 hours straight sending me to hospital. I got all the testing done, nothing wrong. But now that I've read stuff here, I'm a bit relieved. Unfortunately, my palps are very disruptive and cause shortness of breath for me. It's extremely uncomfortable. My question is, is one of my other medications causing this. Specifically, Concerta or Wellbutrin. Yes I kow they are for depression, but I don't have an anxiety disorder and they seem to start after my concerta dosage was increased. Also I have high blood pressure so my doctor gave me atenelol for the palps because it will help reduce my HBP as well. My issue is that Beta-Blockers are depressants and I feel it will counteract my other meds. Seems to be a vicious circle.
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Avatar_n_tn
Today is August 16th 2006 I have been having frequent PVCs with normal beats in between for the last week. I have a history of Mitral Valve Regurgitation (slight), and Also a leaky Tricuspid Valve. I know the trigger was probably too much caffeine. Because I had drank a big cup of coffee at night, and then one in the morning. The Coffee was stronger than I usually make it. I was taken in an ambulance from my job and was told at the emergency room the they were PVCs. Mine was trigeminy with normal rhythm in between the PVCs. I have had bouts with Anxiety related symptoms in the past, but nothing like this. I was on Paxil for about a year in 2002. I stopped taking Paxil due to the side effects. The side effects were inability to perform sexually with my wife, weight gain, and fatigue. And even before I was on Paxil I had only several brief episodes of trigeminy. When I was 13 they were slight and only happened when I would take a deep breath and was brought on by too much hot chocolate in the winter. I have had and EKG and am currently wearing a 24 hr. Holter. I suspect he will also want to do a Stress test to rule out any Blockage to the heart muscle or possible undetected Eschima. I would just like to know why all of the sudden so many? It only seems to happen mostly from Mid morning until evening. In the evening, it seems to decrease. Any advise or support would be highly appreciative. I have found that reading these comments and posts have helped me to deal with this in a better way. Thanks to everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have not had caffeine, alcohol, nor nicotine in over 2 months.  I did not abuse any of them, but I have been too afraid to use any of them at all.  
I am currently taking meds for arrhythmias that are scary.  I do feel better, but not sure that eliminating the stimulants has made a difference.  Even though I am on medication, I still can feel the palps trying to happen or happening and just aren't near as strong. I feel them Enough to keep me on my fear guard...I want so much to get back to no worries and wanting to do things again.  
An ER visit landed me in the hospital for a week constantly monitored earlier this month.  I had an MRI and Echo in the hospital ( I have had holters, ekgs and echos in the past)and the tests still show a stucture of a normal heart and function.  Evidently, at the ER there were PVC, and NSVT enough that they had to put me on meds...I hope to eventually come off of them, but there's no sure thing so far.  I haven't seen an electrophysiologist, and I wonder why my cardiologists has not mentioned seeing one, is it possible he is just waiting to see how the meds work for a few months?  I want to do what will be best for me in the long run.  Any common experiences out here and if so, can you share ideas?
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