Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)
View Table of Contents
- What are premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)?
- What happens during a premature ventricular contraction?
- How common are premature ventricular contractions?
- What causes premature ventricular contractions?
- What are premature ventricular contraction symptoms?
- What are the dangers of premature ventricular contractions?
- How is premature ventricular contraction diagnosed?
- How is premature ventricular contraction diagnosed? (Part 2)
- How is premature ventricular contraction diagnosed? (Part 3)
- What are the treatments for premature ventricular contractions?
- What are the treatments for premature ventricular contractions? (continued)
What causes premature ventricular contractions?
There are many causes of premature ventricular contractions, which include:
- heart attack;
- high blood pressure;
- cardiomyopathy, including congestive heart failure;
- disease of heart valves such as mitral valve prolapse;
- hypokalemia (low blood levels of potassium), and hypomagnesemia (low blood levels of magnesium) -- hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia can occur, for example, in patients taking diuretics (water pills);
- hypoxia (low amounts of oxygen in the blood), for example, hypoxia occurs with lung diseases such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
- medications such as digoxin (Lanoxin), aminophylline (Phyllocontin, Truphylline), tricyclic antidepressants, and ephedrine-containing, decongestants;
- excessive intake of alcohol;
- excess caffeine intake;
- stimulant drug use such as cocaine, and amphetamines;
- myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation) and cardiac contusion (heart muscle injury), and
- premature ventricular contractions also occur in healthy individuals without heart diseases.