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Avatar universal

PVC's

I'm a 45 year old female and began having PVC's last fall. At that time I had a holter monitor and echo which were normal except for 177 PVC's in a 24 hour period. My GP at that time had me go on 25 mg of atenol at that time. I'm also taking Paxill and dyazide for high blood pressure. After a month the PVC's stopped so I stopped taking the atenol and felt great. about 6 weeks ago they returned and I have good days and bad days. My family doctor did a Thallium stress test on me which he said was normal. He said the PVC's got better with exercise. Well for two weeks I felt great about that but yesterday I was exercsing and got thirsty so I stopped after some aerobics to get a drink of water. When I stopped I was having a PVC every other beat. I then exercised later in the day and the same thing happened. My question is should I be worried about this? I have heard that PVC's after exercise are not something to mess around with. I should also mention that my family doc has me tapering off the atenol because he said that people without heart disease should not take a beta blocker and also because I'm on the paxill. Please tell me your opinion. This is consuming my life and I want it back.
24 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello,

PVCs are troubling because they cause significant symptoms  and there is not great solution.  As you describe, they tend to wax and wane.  There are no prospective studies designed to answer this very complicated question.  Several studies have retrospectively looked into a data set (like the Framingham Study).

Clinical correlates and prognostic significance of exercise-induced ventricular premature beats in the community: the Framingham Heart Study.
Circulation. 2004 May 25;109(20):2374-5.

This showed that over a long follow up period (15 years) there was a slight increased risk in all cause mortality (not cardiovascular mortality).

There are other studies that show that in a coronary disease population post exercise (recovery phase PVCs) are associated low increased risk.

I understand that reading the above statements sound very concerning.  The problem  is all the studes are retrospective and include a very specific populations of patients and is not applicable to all patients. The problem is that is not an area we understand very well yet and all PVCs are probably not the same. The standard of care is still to treat symptomatic PVCs with beta blockers.  The long term increased risks are still relatively low and do not mean that anything additional should be done.

I hope this helps answer your questions.  Thanks for posting.
Avatar universal
I feel your pain!! I just recently started having PVC or PAC not sure and had a holter monitor. I was referred to a cardiologist, but have not seen him yet. I was told that as long as yout heart is structurly normal these things are benign. I did here that exercise is one of the best ways not to have them, because I think it lessens the anxiety. I think once you are intuned to having them, you always feel them. I was also told that everyone has them but they don't notice. I totally beleive that once you get them the anxiety they create keeps them alive in you. I mean until you get over the anxiety of them they will never go away. However, anxiety pops up when you least expect it, so to make them go away completely after feeling them seems very unlikely to me. I wish you the best of luck!! Take care
Avatar universal
HI im 20 years old female and im 19 weeks pregnant. Iv experienced these on and off for about 3 years but i was free from them for about 7 months until i got pregnant, now i get them worse than ever! I also get them when i exercise which scares me, wel i get them wen i stop exercise but i heard it could be the adrenaline still in your body. Im waiting for results on a 24 hr ecg and il keep you posted. Also do you get them in a row, this is wat scares me! I dont mind the odd skipp!
Avatar universal
PVC's are a strange thing.  It's hard to get definitive answers on them, and it's hard to figure out what brings them on.
I have experienced them for over 10 years and have had every test under the sun, and I'm told not to worry.  As for exercise, check with your doctor, but I have never heard it makes them worse.  You may want to check your hydration while exercising, or eating a while beforehand.  Whatever you do do not stress out about them because it solves nothing.  I hope you don't worry too much like I did.  Hope this helps a little.
Avatar universal
I went thru all the treatemt medication, holter monitor, and even angio, and nothing help,exercise, diet change,  kept getting worse and worse, no matter what i did,  i was to the point i just knew i was going to die !!!! I'm not a big person to begin with, only 124lbs
I figured that if i was going to die, i at least wanted to look good in the box,,,so i went to argentina and had cosmetic surgery, tummy tuck, and a breast lift and reduction. That was a year ago, and i swear, I have not had the first PVC since. I've even been able to add coffee back to my diet, without any pvc, go figure ?????
I'm not saying this is a cure or anything, but just for this fact alone i am glad i did what i did. I can now function like a normal person, without medication and all that other stuff.  Just stating my story !!!
Avatar universal
Hello all.
I am a 20 (almost 21) year old female and started feeling paplitations alot about four months ago.  I have them pretty much everyday and don't see any correlation between getting them and something I'm doing.  I have had an EKG, blood work, echo and holter monitor.  I'm still waiting on the results form the monitor, but everything else came back normal.  I have a feeling the monitor will too, because, of course, the one day I only had one palpitation was the day I had the monitor on.  I also have had really bad chest pain for the same amount of time.  My doc had me take large doses of pain reliever, but that didn't do anything.  I can't stand not knowing what is causing this.  I don't feel like myself and I can't do most of the things I used to be able to do, because I get exhausted very quickly.  I can't even go up one flight of stairs without getting a really fast heart beat and tired.  I'm only 20 and this shouldn't be happening!
Thanks for listening to me rant on and on.  I'm sure others out there have more problems than me, I just want to know what's going on.
97628 tn?1204465633
Brittany,
Just about everybody gets some ectopic heart beats at some time...most people may get some every single day even though they may not notice them.
It's not at all unusual,it's common, so the response to having them is generally more of a problem than the beats themselves.

Try thinking less about your heart, it's the only thing that will make you feel better. It is always better to invest energy into things you can change, like lifstyle habits, exercise and healthy eating, getting enough rest etc. than worrying about things that aren't happening.

Good luck with your Holter.
61536 tn?1340701763
Congrats on being pregnant!  I got a ton of PACs and PVCs when I was pregnant, both times, and it meant absolutely nothing.  Baby was fine and the extra beats did not affect me or my heart in any negative way whatsoever during my pregnancies.  I hope this eases your mind some.  Women can be more prone to them during pregnancy because of hormone changes.  Hang in there and enjoy this wonderful time :)  Pregnancy is an awesome experience if you can avoid the stresses and worries of it.  Sending good thoughts your way!
Avatar universal
Thanks very much for your comments. Its nice to know that other people have experienced these and came through the other side. Thanks all xx
Avatar universal
Hi I'm 26w pregnant and I'm having palpitations all the time.  I'm getting the holter monitor next week.  My question is after you delivered did the palpitations stop or are you still having them?  Thanks!
Avatar universal
What is so special about Argentina?  I thought people went down there to learn the tango- HA! HA!

Kudos to the doctor for giving an honest answer; very little is known about PVCs.   My cardio would never be that honest.
Avatar universal
Does anyone else here get interpolated PVC's (PVC between normal beats; no missed beat or compensatory pause)?
84483 tn?1289941537
I have had a couple in the past, but not recently , at least that am aware of, in some strange way a series of them can same like bigeminy except they are no pauses, what the heart is capable of doing without failing is unbelievable!!!
Avatar universal
It is indeed amazing.  I did not realize they were interpolated until they were recently captured.  It really only occurs when my HR drops into the 50's.  My heart has really thrown me for a loop recently after being the best its been in 20 years for the past 2 years.  Now its probably the worst its ever been.  Tried Atenalol and it made no difference (did cause more interpolated beats).  I am seriously wondering whether to look at an ablation.
84483 tn?1289941537
Funny , One time I swear the atenolol was aggravating my pvcs even more, but for the last 4 years it seemed to have worked wonders. I rarely have them anymore besides the odd one. Maybe you should wait a little while longer before considering ablation( just my personal opinion), if I got them in the 1000s daily again for months then I would definitely pursue an ablation as my pvcs when last documented were RVOT PVCs and unifocal. As understand this the type PVC, ablation is much more successful and if you're going have it done , its best to have it when they are really acting up, much easier to map then.Good luck with whatever you decide and I sure the PVCs give you a break soon, they seem to have a  mind of their own and hit you when you least expect them.
Avatar universal
Did your doc say you had any increased risk from the pvc's during your sugery? Is the anesthesia more of a risk?
170935 tn?1225374676
I'm having a terrible time at the moment with the pvcs. All week i've been getting loads but yesterday was a nightmare i must have had 100+ in about 6 hours!! I know that they are benign in a normal heart but my fear is that the pvcs will end up triggering an SVT.

I just want to ask anyone else who has svt how many pvcs do you get in a day and do they always trigger your svt?  Also does anyone kow HOW the pvcs trigger the svt?
Avatar universal
I had an ablation for atypical AVNRT and Atrial Tach in Oct 2005.  It was successful and life is bliss with the removal of those annoying and debilitating rhythm disturbances.  But, I am plagued by PVC's.  I had them before the procedure and since I now have a lovely quiet heart rate which never goes over about 80 and often beats around 60 beats/minute, the PVC's are able to manifest themselves.  My understanding is that it is harder for PVC's to fire when the heart is beating faster but when it is beating slower, it is easier for them to get a look in.  How true this is I don't know?  A holter showed 188, one site in left ventricle and another site in the right ventricle.  That was a good day.  A bad day, which are not that far apart, probably sees an incidence of around 800/day.  I feel every single one of them.  I would like to have a PVC ablation.  EP advised me to wait for advances in technology as he does not want to use the 64 head balloon electrode yet and can only pace map at this point which makes it harder to locate a single focus firing intermittently - if at all during the procedure.  He quoted me a 50/50 chance of success.  I do get the occassional run of NSVT too - only about 10 beats max, and always triggered by a PVC.  
Does anyone know of any advances in ecoptic ablation technology or success rates with pace mapping for ectopics?  Has anyone had an ablation in both ventricles in one procedure for PVC's.  EP advised me that if we went in for one site, we should go in for the other at the same time.  Makes me a little nervous to ablate in both chambers in the same procedure.
Have to get rid of these pesky things.  A taste of life without atrial tach and AVNRT, makes me want all my life back!
Thanks for any insight!
Avatar universal
I'm a 47 yr. old male. have had irregular heartbeat off and on for over 15 yrs. But in the last few day's, it has been terrible. 4-6 skipped beats per minute, all day long! just had ecg, echo, stress, 2 months ago. everything normal. Can someone tell me what your pcv's feel like? Mine is a pause in the beat, then a hard thump beat. is this a typical pvc? It's driving me crazy. Can't get in to see my cardio. for over a week. thanks
Avatar universal
I am 19 weeks and the other night I was in the shower and had what I didn't know at the time was a PVC. It feels like the air is getting knocked out of you, is that right?  It really scared me so I had my husband take me to the ER and they hooked up a EKG and the doctor said that looked fine and that it was probably a PVC.  Is there anything to prevent them? It's just a horrible feeling and then it triggers my anxiety, which I suffer from anyway.
Avatar universal
I've had PVC's for over 30 years - still alive.  For years I have tried to identify the cause or triggers of this life altering problem.  Only recently have I been able to truely been able to identify the cause.  For me, it is most definately caused by anxiety and stress.   I have been able to identify this because there were distinct times when the PVC's were extremely elevated by stress of a divorce, and the emotional sensitivity to that stress.  I am a believer that once you notice the PVC's, and cannot "forget" them , <<< ha ha ha, that they will begin to become a normal part of your abnormal life.  I've always told my doctor that if they would just go away, I'd forget them, but it's impossible.  When there is no abnormal structures in the heart, but you are dealing with PCV's on a regular basis, it's your mind that's the problem - as evidenced by the emotional stresses and anxiety of divorce or other life changing events.  Some of us are more sensitive to stress and emotions - and it's learning how to deal with life events that others seem to take in stride.  Once the adrenaline starts, for me it's hard for them to stop.  I still say I have an adrenaline leak in my body, my system is in high gear at times, even when I know I am not stressing or anxious about anything.......except the PVC that will return to remind me that I can't go do things I'd like to do, for fear of them not stopping until I get to my safe haven - home.  Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I just got back from having the Cardiolite and stress test and a echo. The echo tech said I was having PVC'S every other heart beat. She couldn't tell me anything else.

On Friday I was getting into my truck to go get my daughter from school and I felt the pvc come on but then it was like my heart got away from me and I couldn't catch my breath and got very tired.

Is this something I need to worry about or not??

I have felt the PVC's for about a year now.

Thanks,
Mari
Avatar universal
I thought you all might benefit from a comment from an "old guy" who has experienced PVCs for over 40 years, since my early twenties. (I am now 67)
My experience has been that occurrences were far between (sometimes months) in my younger years but have steadily increased until they can occur as much as 120 or more times a day presently.
My problem is that at times mine can be very uncomfortable and slightly painful.  For that reason I went to the Heart Institute in Albuquerque, NM to find out what I should do.
After a stress test and a stress echo, I was told that my ticker was as strong as an old geezer like me can hope for ... actually better than most my age.
I was told (by the cardiologist) that my problem was stress.  I continue to work in a high stress profession (Public Relations Director) with tons of deadlines and piles of projects on my desk.
While I had a heart monitor on for one week I also kept a record on a note pad every time I had an occurrence. The history showed a rapid increase in occurrences at 8 am and a drop at 5 pm ... ironically the same time I went to, and left the office.
He said that my situation is that my system is pumping out high levels of adrenalin because of the stress pressure, and it is causing my heart to react with pvc.
During a two-week break in March my wife and I traveled, attended a comvention, and relaxed.  I probably had a half a dozen occurrences the whole time. (Even while driving in San Diego freeway traffic!)
Bottom line is that I am making serious plans to retire and get out of the stress.  I have also started using herbals that help reduce the adrenal problem.
Not everybody can "cop-out" and retire like I can, so I can only offer this observation:  I am told that PVCs are not life-threatening, only annoying.  If they annoy you excessively, it may be time to do a little retrospective observing and try to lessen any stressful situations in your life.  Relax when you can and enjoy life.  It seems to do more for me that pumping alot of chemicals into my body.
Avatar universal
omg i get them alllll the time. they annoy me! lol umm but idk if i should go to the dr or what. in a sense i dont care i guess, but since i have a husband and a 1 yr old idk. think i should see about that? how often are yours
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