Premature beats are a common kind of heart arrhythmia, which are initiated by ectopic pacemakers.
It can be divided into premature atrial contractions (PACs), premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and premature node contractions according to its origin.
The occurrence frequency of PACs, PVCs and premature node contractions decreases in turn.
It happens to ordinary people or patients with OHD, CHD, RHD, HHD, cardiomyopathy, etc.
Poisoning of quinidine, procainamide, digitalis or antimonials; hypokalemia; or mechanical stimulation of the heart by cardiac surgery or cardiac catheterization can be a trigger.
The heart beats in a regular and rhythmic manner.
Normal heartbeat is “lub-dub, stop, lub-dub, stop, lub-dub, stop…”
While premature beat breaks the rhythm, becoming “lub-dub lub-dub, stop, stop, lub-lub, dub-dub…”.
It is a case in which two (or even more) beats occur in advance in a normal heartbeat.
The rhythm of the heart varies with different ectopic pacemakers as illustrated below:
Fig. 1 (12-lead ECG under normal conditions)
Fig. 2 (2-lead ECG under normal conditions, determining whether premature beat occurs)
Fig. 3 premature beat (the red part manifests an earlier beat which disrupts the original rhythm and lengthens the subsequent interval)
Premature beat can be medically interpreted as a cardiac impulse initiated by ectopic pacemakers, or popularly understood as an early beat that disrupts the regular heartbeat rhythm.
PS: In spite of the aforesaid simple types, you can search “arrythmia or internal medicine or diagnostics” documents for more detailed ones.
There may be no symptoms of the heart or may be palpitations or cardiac arrests.
Frequent premature beats will decrease cardiac output, or cause fatigue, dizziness and chest distress due to the lack of blood flow to the brain, or aggravate angina or heart failure.
It occurs occasionally or frequently, embodied in unstable, premature or missed pulses.
In short, the heart rate is unstable (it may be ignored under normal circumstances).
Premature beats often happen to healthy people. Occasional occurrence to the youth without special conditions, family history of heart disease or history of congenital heart disease can be ignored.
But others need to pay attention and seek medical advice in time.
PS: an ECG test costs RMB 40-50 in most hospitals, which is very cheap. You can access it in community hospitals.
You’d better do an ECG test in a nearby hospital if premature beats last for 2-3 consecutive days without exceptional circumstances (e.g. all-nighter, excessive drinking & smoking, fatigue, emotional excitement, or excessive stress, workout and medication). It’s up to you for further clinical treatment.
- Precautions (without organic diseases)
Tobacco and spirits
Forbidden drugs and diet pills
Excessive workload and video games