Heart & Cardiology/Pvcs

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Question
Hello,

I am a 53 year old female . I haven been experiencing an increase in pvcs almost daily. I used to have them infrequently since I was in my twenties. About a month ago, I and an endoscopy for gerd, which was negative. A few hours after I came home I started to experience the most frequent and disturbing pvcs I have ever had.
I've had blood tests, an echo and a stress echo, which were all normal.
My father had a heart attack when he was 39 and then died of lung cancer when he was in his fifties.
He was a heavy smoker and drinker.
My mother is in her nineties and in good health.
I am of average weight and try to exercise daily. I take atorvastatin and was cholesterol and blood pressure are under control.
I am worried and cannot relax due to the palpitations.
I was also given potassium and atenalol by the cardiologist.
Do you think I should have more testing done or that this could be due to a blockage.
Will this damage my heart.
I have been under stress.

Thanks,

Karin
Bee

Answer
Hello Ms. Bee,

Premature beats are normal heart activity, easy to understand as normal from knowledge of the heart's electrical system and occurring in about half of us.  They don't mean you have heart disease or will in the future develop heart disease or any cardiac catastrophe.

Not due to blockage.  Further tests will not help.  There are two medicines more effective in reducing PVCs than atenolol.  Flecainide and Sotalol are their names.  They are safe for someone with a normal echo and a normal QTc on EKG.

I'm sorry you're so distressed by the PVCs.

Please write back if this note doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson

Expertise

Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.

Experience

Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Organizations
Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Publications
Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

Education/Credentials
M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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