Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)


Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are an irregular heartbeat, that when the ventricles (lower heart chambers) send an electrical command to begin the heartbeat. These irregular heartbeats throw off the heart’s normal rhythm, making the chest feel as though it’s fluttering or skipping beats.

PVCs are common and mostly not harmful. If the patient have an existing heart problem, such as heart disease or a congenital heart defect, the chances of further complications increases.

Premature ventricular contractions are also called the following:

  • Premature ventricular complexes
  • Ventricular extrasystoles
  • Ventricular premature beats

Premature ventricular contractions can occur without heart disease, but they normally aren’t harmful and often don’t require therapy. If the patient has an underlying heart problem or experiences very frequent or uncomfortable premature ventricular contractions, therapy may be necessary.


There are frequently few or no symptoms associated with premature ventricular contractions. However, PVCs can result in the following:

  • Heart palpitations or fluttering
  • Pounding or jumping heartbeat
  • Skipped beats or missed beats
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)

If the patient is experiencing any signs and symptoms, then a consultation with the doctor is recommended. However, numerous other diseases and disorders, including as anxiety, anemia, hyperthyroidism, and infections, can also induce similar signs and symptoms.


PVCs are irregularly occurring contractions that begin in the ventricles rather than the atria. In most cases, the contractions occur before the anticipated next heartbeat.

Premature ventricular contractions can have a variety of causes. Cells in the lower heart chambers may become electrically unstable due to a variety of factors, such as heart conditions or physiological changes. The signals sent by the heart may be redirected as a result of cardiac disease or scarring.

Possible causes of premature ventricular contractions include:

  • Heart failure or heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Electrolyte imbalances, such as low potassium or magnesium
  • Medications such as decongestants and antihistamines
  • Alcohol intake
  • Drug abuse
  • Caffeine or tobacco
  • Elevated adrenaline cause by anxiety, exercise, or stress
  • Disease-related heart muscle damage

Risk Factors

Premature ventricular contractions may be more common in people with the following:

  • Heart conditions such as congenital heart defects, coronary artery conditions, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy
  • Heart failure or heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Caffeine or tobacco
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Exercise (in some certain types of PVCs)