Heart & Cardiology/Palpitations


Greetings and thank you for your time!

I have a question or two for you.

I'm a 41 year old female in pretty good health. My BMI is a little high, but I exercise regularly and am mostly vegetarian.  I have had pvcs/pacs for over 10 years now, but periodically I have a run of fluttery, weird sensation that typically lasts 5-10 seconds. Generally, I do not have any lightheadedness when these happen. Sometimes they feel like slow heartbeats (as if I'm having a PVC every other beat). Then things go back to normal.

Yesterday, things were different. I got the flutters and it felt just like they usually do except: I got lightheaded and when I took my pulse, I couldn't feel one for a few seconds!

Needless to say, that was really alarming, but my husband reminds me that I have been lightheaded with PVCs before and I've had periods where I haven't felt my pulse before when I had these weird sensations. When my pulse kicked in, it was very rapid.  

I'm going in next week for a heart monitor (my second one this year).

So my questions:

1. How frequently should I get an echo? I had one about 4 years ago.
2. What is the significance of not feeling my pulse? Can this still be a completely benign rhythm? Why wouldn't I feel the pulse?
3. What is generally the chance of having a serious arrhythmia during these moments with normal EKGs, echo, etc.?
4. How do serious arrhythmias affect longevity? I imagine they shorten it, but aren't they generally seen in older populations and among males?

Thank you so much for your help! I appreciate what you're doing here.

Hi, http://myheart.net/articles/pvc-heart-beats-are-they-dangerous/

1) If you have had echo in the past that is normal, then unless there is a significant clinical change such as development of new symptoms or shortness of breath for example, an echo isn't really needed routinely for simple palpitations.

2) its difficult to know why you couldn't feel it, sometimes a pac causes a compensatory pause which prolongs the next beat coming and can feel like a long pause, its more useful to correlate those symptoms with findings on a monitor

3) The chance is very small,

4) PAC's and PVC's are very common and in the absence of underlying structural heart disease, such as with a normal echo, are unlikely to affect longevity, i see them commonly in my younger patients.

Hope that was helpful,  

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Mustafa Ahmed MD


Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Hypertension, Pulmonary Embolism, Structural and Valve Disease


Board Certification Internal Medicine and Cardiology Interventional and Structural Cardiology


Multiple Publications In High Quality Peer Reviewed Journals. Internationally Recognized.

MD from The Royal Victoria University of Manchester, England Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Research Training - University of Alabama

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