Heart & Cardiology/Follow up


Hi :)

Thank you so much for your prompt reply to my question about bacterial infection and my heart (reduced PVCs after antibiotics). I really appreciated your reassurance. Is it common for an underlying infection in the rest of the body or somewhere in the body to cause PVCs without any real heart involvement? What I mean is, can PVCs be caused by infection indirectly? I never was aware of this, but it is highly logical considering the interconnectedness of our bodies as a whole, and it makes sense that it would stress the heart slightly.

I have just one other question which I would be so grateful for help on. I have struggled with panic attacks for the past 3 years, and have always focused on the heart symptoms (racing heart in particular). If my heart is beating at around 140 bpm, can that ever be dangerous or result in an arrhythmia? This may seem like a stupid question, as I obviously get my heart up to that level during exercise, but it just feels subjectively so much more stressful for my heart during anxiety or panic (I imagine partially because I am usually stationary and not exercising at the time). Is more adrenaline or any other harmful chemical being released during anxiety? I guess I just need reassurance that I can do my exposure work (inducing panic in situations in order to learn that it is harmless) without fear of my heart giving out or going into a dangerous rhythm. Thank you so much for your consideration and time on this somewhat silly question.

Thanks again!

Yes, an infection anywhere in the body can increase PVCs without any infection of the heart.

Heart rate of 140 during panic is normal and harmless.  Your heart will not give out or go into a dangerous rhythm.

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

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


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


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.

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

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

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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