About 6 weeks ago I had an extended period of irregular heartbeasts lasting approximately 45 miutes. Although I'd previously noticed and odd 'flip'flop' sensation in my chest before, such instances were very rare. This was the first time where the sensations went on for an extended period of time. Since that initial episode, I've had 2 recurrences.
After teh first, I went through my primary care provider and got referred for a Holter Monitor. Today I finally got the results back. Unfortunately my primary care provider is only a physician's assistant and is unable to explain them to me. She has (again) referred me to a cardiologist, but it will be another 2-3 wseeks before that appointment (ah, the wonder of HMOs),
I have the report here in my hands and would like at least some sort of explantion to ease my mind over the next 2-3 weeks, or to motivate me to get the appointment sooner.
Here're the summaries from the:
Day 1: "Min heart rate 41, max 116 beats per minute noted. A total of 1 VPC and 17 APCs in 24 hours present. Basic rythm is normal sinus. Some sinus arrythymia noted. No clear evidence of high degree AV block, complex cardiac arrhythmias present"
Day 2: "Min heart rate 40, max 117 beats per minute noted. No ventricular ectopy noted. 5 isolated APCs present. Basic rhythm is normal sinus with possible blocked APC present. No evidence of high degree AV block or complex cardia arrhythmias noted.
Day 3: "Min heart rate 37, max 151 beats per minute noted. Single VPC and 4 APCs in 24 hours present. Basic rhythm is normal sinus with average heart rate satisfactory other than presence of sinus bradycardia noted. Possible blocked APC present. No evidence of complex cardiac arrhythmias, high degree AV block noted."
Impression: "Patient basically has normal sinus rhythm, some sinus bradycardia, rare blocked APC, rare APC, VPC present."
As background I'm a 33 year old male, 6 feet tall and 182 pounds. I exercise regularly including 20 minutes of aerobics 5 times per week and am careful about my diet. My impression of my health is that it's very good. There's alot of history of heart disease in my family though.
My question: What does all this mean? Will I croak before my HMO gets me to the cardiologist?
Dear Dave, thank you for your question. Your Holter Monitor results are normal, so I don't think you should worry about a premature demise. I suspect that you have benign premature beats that are causing you to feel that you are having an irregular heartbeat. Premature beats (APC's and VPC's) are extra beats from the atria and ventricles that everyone has, but only some people tend to notice their premature beats and be concerned about them. Common causes of premature beats are alcohol, tobaccco, caffeine, and stress so these precipitants should be avoided. You're taking good care of yourself and these rare premature beats should not affect your health and should not harm you. However, you need to see a physician to get recommendations and an accurate diagnosis.
I hope you find this information useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only. Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to write back with additional questions. Good luck.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.
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