Heart & Cardiology/PVCs

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Question
Dear Dr. Richardson,

I understand many people have PVCs but do not feel them.  Are the PVCs more dangerous or more of a warning that something's wrong for the people that can feel them (like me)?  

I feel the classic thump.  Every once in a while (though it's quite rare) I will have a very brief moment of lightheadedness at the precise time of the thump.  Almost like my brain doesn't have blood.  Is this dangerous?  Is this faint like feeling due to the fact that extra blood is being pooled to the heart to create the thump that we feel?

Seems so hard to believe that these symptoms can exist in normal/healthy individuals.  But my research on the web seems to indicate that it is in fact normal.  

Sincerely,
Meghann

Answer
Hello Meghann,

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.   Whether you feel them or not, they are still normal.

No , the faintness is a normal accompaniment of PVCs and is not dangerous.  Yes is the answer to the third question in your second paragraph.

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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