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995271 tn?1463927859

How many PVCs is too many?

There is an interesting article in the Heart Rhythm journal in the July 2010 issue.  The title is "Relationship between burden of premature ventricular complexes and left ventricular function"

I'm not sure how medhelp will handle this link, so if this gets munged or filtered try searching on the title above.


From what I read, the study tried to put a number on how PVCs is too many.  They came up with >24% of overall beats in a 24 hour period or about 26,000 in an average person.  This >24% is like a cutoff that separated the patients with LV dysfunction from those without it.  They probably did this by measuring LVEF.  I also saw that the LVEF had to show improvement by reducing the PVC burden below this threshold.
18 Responses
1124887 tn?1313758491
Thanks for sharing :) Interesting research.

I cannot even try to imagine (luckily) what 24.000 PVCs feels like. I got approx 50 ectopics (mostly PACs) on my Holter, I felt every single one and I thought that was a lot..
Avatar universal
I have probably at least 6 a minute and its been like that now for 4 weeks...really wish the cycle would end...NOW!!  Been fighting these darn things for 20 years and right now is the worst I have ever been.
187666 tn?1331176945
Doing a little math (if I got it right) that would be based on an average heart rate of around 72 bpm and a person would have to have about 18 ectopics a minute with no break. I think most of us have a bad hour or two or even a bad day. But not often do we have that many going on without some kind of break.

1189366 tn?1265223487

I know how you feel and it *****!  I have been between 5 and 18 a minute for the past week and it was driving me nuts.  I have been dealing with it on and off for the past 20 years.  The past year has been my hardest.  It was so bad last week that I went to the ER but I already knew they'd just send me home.  They found nothing wrong except PVC's and PAC's.  So I called my family DR and told them what was going on and they told me to go back to the ER.  Well, I was so tired of dealing with it I called the Cleveland Clinic in OH and they got me in the next day.   Had to drive 6 hours to get there but I heard it was one of the best places to go.  They were so nice and took a lot of time with me.  They ran all the necessary tests and then I spoke to the DR at the end of the visit.  He told me that this was not going to kill me and that it knows its not very much fun to deal with.  He told me at least 10 times that I would be fine.  I did not feel rushed and felt like he did care which I really did appreciate.  He put me on Metoprolol Succinate (ER) low dose 12.5mg.  This seem to have reduced them for now.  Only getting maybe 10 a day now.  I know they will return at some point because they always do.  I guess we can only believe what the DRs tell us and just do whatever it takes to get through the bad days.  Good luck and know you are not alone.
Avatar universal
man, I cannot wait till I get 10 a day...Normally, I only have to deal with them for about 2 weeks and then nothing for months, but this one will not quit!! 4 weeks every 15 0r so secs and still going.  Made an appointment with a cardio but not until 2 weeks, which by then, they may be gone...I hope so!!
Avatar universal
BTW, what was your longest run of these skips?
Avatar universal
I too have them too. I have had them daily for weeks to the point that I developed a nagging deep cough.  They went away for 2 months and  now returned over a week ago. At times i get about 10 to 15 a minute. I work in the ED, so this gives me the opportunity to put myself on the cardiac monitor. My PVC are unifocal many times I have couplets and on occassion I have triplets.

I too wish they would disappear.
1189366 tn?1265223487
Well, normally I have one bad run of them each year.  This year I have had 2 with the current one hopefully just now ending (lasted about 2 weeks).  The first time lasted about 2 months but I think it might have been Med related.  Not sure.... I also know my nerves plays a role in how long they last.  Sometimes I feel like I'm a walking time bomb just wating to explode.  Its really not a fun way to live.  I wish there was something that would just take them away for all of us.  This website has really helped me knowing that I'm not alone because I have felt like it over the years. My family and friends just don't get it.  They think just because the Dr's say I'm not going to die that I should just be able to forget about it.  I think you can only understand if you get these things.
1375460 tn?1280025013
I feel so bad for complaining since I've only been having mine for 2 weeks.  I feel like my life will never be the same and I feel like I took things for granted.  It is very reassuring to see that people have lived a very long time with these because I'm with everyone else, even though we are told they are normal and benign they sure don't feel it!  I've always been a worrier....so this is a real struggle for me.  I've always said I wish my mind could operate like it does when I've had a few beers or a 1MG xanax.....I think I'm more like a normal person when i do that.  However, I understand xanax can be very addicting....I always have some on hand for when I fly or when one of my kids gets sick (I always think the worst until they are better).....so I have used them sparingly over the year.  Since I've had these PACS start up I have had to use them a little more just to function....I find myself searching the internet all day at work about these things and then getting home and not being motivated to do anything...real depressed.  That being said, I am still having them today, they became more active after noon again but I was able to go eat lunch and I haven't taken any xanax....i am going to try and have a xanax free day.  I just wish I could have a PACS free day!!!  

I have a float trip coming up a week from Saturday, a bunch of friends go float down a river all day, relax, and drink beer......I'm not afraid to drink because of these things!  Has anyone else had any experience drinking beer with PACS?
1189366 tn?1265223487

When I read your post it felt like I was writing it.  I know just how you feel seaching all day for answers and something to make you feel better and then going home only wanting to lay down and sleep it away.  I also use Xanax when necessary but I find that it does help to take them away but after the Xanax is out of my system they come back 2 times as bad.  I try to only use the Xanax for a bad attack.  It has been so bad for me the past few weeks, something like 10 to 15 a minute for days.  Finally, I went to the Dr again and started taking a very low dose of Lexapro (5mg) and also a very low does of Metoprolol Succinate (12.5)  Has really made a difference in only about 3 weeks.  I also like to drink beer sometimes.  What I have found is that while I'm having the beer, I feel great but later (just like with the Xanax) seems like its 2 times as bad.  All I know is that you can't stop doing the things you enjoy.  I've been to at least 10 different doctors and they all tell me the same thing.  They won't hurt you.  I know its hard to believe it and sometimes that statement even makes me mad because its like they dismiss them like you have a cold.  You should talk to you Doctor about Lexapro and Metoprolol.  Really does seem to have helped me.  At least for now.  Hope you feel better.
1375460 tn?1280025013
Thanks rmontgom21740.....

By the way, in my post above it should say "I am noW afraid to drink with these things".....I accidentally wrote not!  ha ha

1189366 tn?1265223487
I love to have a beer with Friends also but i'm like you.  I'm also afraid right now.  I'm 43 and have been getting these things since i've been 18.  You will go through times when you wont want beer or even exercise, some types of foods... etc.  It will come and go but I can tell you.  When it goes away for awhile, you will return to normal.  
Avatar universal
I feel likt I can relate to so many of you! So glad I found this forum.  I have had pvc's off and on for about 8 years... they are horrible.  I found this website because I googled how many pvc's are too many.. I see I am not alone, yay!  My husband also thinkgs I'm crazy, so being able to read other stories and know that I am not alone is really wonderful.  I think I make mine worse by constantly waiting for them to happen and worrying about them... it's always on my mind and I hate it.  I am on toprol also and not sure it's helping at all, have been for over 6 months now.  I've had EKG's, Echo's etc. all say "normal"  I sure don't feel normal!!  
Avatar universal
I am one of these people that have over 26,000 in a day.  This was based on my 24 hour Holter test.  The scariest thing to me is that I was on metapropolol during this test, which is supposed to reduce how many PVC's I have.  I really wonder what it would have been without the drugs.  I've read a lot of comments about PVC's to see what the experiences are of other people.  I think the biggest difference is that, where others say they have episodes of palpatations during the day, mine are constantly going.  A bit like feeling the heart "turning and twisting" (my description) at all times.  Because of how many I have, my EP is recommending ablation surgery since all of my PVC's come from an area smaller than a dime in my heart.  The thought of surgery is scary, but I can't even begin to imagine the rest of my life with this.  (Medicines attempted but failed:  Metapropolol; Bystolic)
Avatar universal
Did you do the ablation?  I did and it didn't work.  I have them between every other and every 10th regular beat.  I'm so tired and frustrated.  I can deal with "feeling" them.  I just can't take the fatigue.
995271 tn?1463927859
How did your follow-up with the EP go?  It can take a few tries to get it right.

Benign PVC ablation success rate isn't that great.  But with more tries the success does go up.  Keep trying!

This is a n old thread, you might not hear back from the poster.  Try messaging them directly.  
Avatar universal

For over two years I was having 13,000 PVC's/24hr periods with hours of bi- and tri-geminy.  I was on the verge of going to an EP for an ablation when I discovered a web site on a symptom that I also had (Ambien and Gerd) that mentioned Ambien use could lead to PVCs.  I was prescribe Ambien and had been taking it for about two years. Within 48 hours of stopping Ambien my PVC's disappeared.  I mention this because I am sure many people are taking Ambien (or similar drugs) that might be triggering PVC's.  Explore all options before considering ablation... why burn an area of your heart when you might not have to.
Avatar universal
Doctor recently gave me an Alivecor ECG tracker for my Iphone.   I have been averaging 12 pvcs per minute -- sometimes Bigeminal (double) pvcs.   Fortunately, it is not all day long.   However, this is must frustrating.   I feel slightly dizzy and just not well when they are at their worst.   Doctor started 25 mg metaprolol ER which made them less noticeable, and then tried to increase to 50 mg, which made me horribly tired so I cut it back down.   The only thing that seems to calm them is Xanax, but I don't want to get into a habit of taking those as they are highly addictive.

Extremely frustrated.   5 months of this now.  
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