Heart Disease Expert Forum
What are PVC's?
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What are PVC's?

I see a lot of your questions relate to pvc's or mpv's or similar.  What do all the initials stand for?  Are pvc's palpatations?  As I suffer from palpatations, but am getting confused by all the three letter analogies.
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It can be somewhat of an "alphabet soup" sometimes!  PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) are "extra" heartbeats occurring out of sync with the normal regular rhythm of the heart.  PVC's may cause no symptoms at all or may be felt as a "irregular" heartbeat or as the sensation of a "hard heartbeat".  PVC's  are common findings in persons with otherwise normal hearts, in which case the prognosis is excellent and there is no decrease at all in life expectancy.  On the other hand, they may indicate that there is an underlying abnormality of the heart muscle (from any number of reasons).  If there is an abnormality, then the prognosis and treatment depends upon the specific problem of the heart.  The usual evaluation of PVC's is a history, physical examination, and electrocardiogram (ECG).  Also your doctor may wish to check an ultrasound of the heart.  If all those tests are normal, then you would fall into the category of people who have PVC's but otherwise no underlying heart problem. In that case, treatment depends on how much the PVC's bother you. If they are essentially asymptomatic, then no treatment is required. If they bother you, then a medication called a "beta-blocker" may reduce the frequency of the PVC's. PVC's can't be "cured", but the medication can decrease their frequency. The potential side effects of beta-blockers are tiredness, impotence in men and breathing difficulties in individuals with underlying lung disease.  Be sure to discuss these issues with your doctor and under no circumstance should you take medications for the heart without the supervision of a doctor.

Below are some web sites with additional information about PVCs.

http://www.amhrt.org/Heart_and_Stroke_A_Z_Guide/prevent.html
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/nhlbi/cardio/other/gp/arrhyth.htm
http://www.MedicineNet.com/Forum.asp?li=USA&ag=Y&ArticleKey=1946
http://www.onelist.com/
http://www.swimstats.com/health
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