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Ectopic Heartbeat

Ectopic Heartbeat Causes

Ectopic heartbeats are considered an arrhythmia that involves small variations in an otherwise normal heartbeat and in many cases, it has no obvious or benign causes. The condition however, is sometimes associated with electrolyte abnormalities in the blood, which need to be corrected. Ischemia or reduction in the blood supply is also associated to Ectopic heartbeat. Excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, side effects of certain medications, caffeine, and some illicit drugs may also cause or worsen the condition.

Ectopic Heartbeat Definition

Ectopic heartbeat or also known as Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra, abnormal heartbeats that start in one of the heart's two lower pumping chambers or the ventricles. Simply put, it is an irregularity of the heart rate and rhythm involving extra or skipped beats.

Ectopic Heartbeat Diagnosis

Physical exam alone may not detect Ectopic heartbeat especially if it does not occur frequently. Continuous ambulatory cardiac monitoring or Holter monitor, ECG, echocardiogram, and coronary angiography are the tests involved in diagnosing the condition.

Ectopic Heartbeat Symptoms and Signs

The condition may not cause symptoms but affected individuals experience odd sensations on their chest such as flip-flops, fluttering, pounding or jumping, skipped or missed beats, and increased awareness of the heartbeat.

Ectopic Heartbeat Treatment

Ectopic heartbeats often do not require treatment. A person only undergoes treatment is the symptoms are severe and occurrence is very frequent. Treatment may also be needed if an underlying cause is found.

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