Heart & Cardiology/PVCS - Endocarditis?


Hi Dr., I had a minor dental procedure involving local anaesthetic in May last year. By June I had developed frequent skipped heartbeats. I would have 50-100 and sometimes more noticeable skips per day. They generally eased with exercise but would often happen during recovery. All the time at rest. They bothered me so much but I put them down to stress. Around November I developed shortness of breath that was severe. I would have to stop to catch a full breath even when I was at rest. I also dismissed this as anxiety or stress. The palpitations were still occurring. Then in January I took antibiotics for an unrelated infection and within days the skipped beats were gone. I do not get them at rest anymore, although I do get occasional shortness of breath. With exercise I do get skipped beats and in the recovery (30 seconds or 1 min after stopping exercise while my heart rate is still high). Now from what I have read regarding subacute endocarditis, the illness would perhaps be more severe by now? Is it possible that I do have this? Or do you believe it was coincidence about the timing of the onset and disappearance of the palpitations? I am a bit worried about damage to my heart or heart failure. But I have had a normal Echo in the past so I do not believe I have any valve problems that would let endocarditis happen. But I'm not a doctor so I'm not sure. Please let me know what you think. Thank you!

Hello Rebecca,

No, you don't have endocarditis.  It causes fever, spots under fingernails, and feeling bad.

I do not know why antibiotics would lessen skipped beats.  As you know, skipped 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.   Maybe the antibiotics relieved anxiety, which makes skips more frequent.

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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