Extrasystole

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Related to premature ventricular contraction: premature atrial contraction

extrasystole

[¦ek·strə′sis·tə·lē]
(medicine)
Premature beat of the heart.

Extrasystole

 

the most common form of arrhythmia. The condition is characterized by irregular heart contractions (extra-systoles) caused by impulses from an additional focus of excitation arising in the myocardium. Since the heart muscle remains unexcitable for some time after every contraction, the next normal impulse usually cannot cause a systole. As a result, a longer than normal contraction, that is, a compensatory pause, occurs. An extrasystole is generally felt as a temporary sinking sensation, or an “interruption in the heart.” Atrial extrasystoles arise in the atria, and ventricular extrasystoles in the ventricles. Extrasystoles may be single or multiple, and they may occur chaotically or with a certain rhythm, for example, after every normal contraction (bigeminal). Sometimes several extrasystoles occur in succession.

Extrasystoles can occur in healthy persons, and, in most cases, occasional infrequent extrasystoles have little clinical significance. Atrial extrasystoles, however, may result from myocardial disease, for example, mitral insufficiency or cardiosclerosis. Frequent atrial extrasystoles in these diseases are an early sign of auricular fibrillation, especially when they occur in rapid succession. Ventricular extrasystoles may result from myocardial disease or neurological, mental, and other disorders. Successive ventricular extrasystoles originating from different places may precede a severe form of arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation.

Electrocardiography plays an important part in diagnosing ex-trasystoles. Treatment is determined by cause. The administration of antiarrhythmic agents, for example, propranolol and potassium preparations, is sometimes required.

N. R. PALEEV and I. M. KELMAN

References in periodicals archive ?
In the coronary care unit, the patient was noted to have frequent premature ventricular contractions and couplets.
The anti-arrhythmic effects of PROVACEL were also seen in the number of premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) observed.
Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), also known as premature ventricular complexes, are early depolarization of the myocardium originating in the ventricle due to increased automaticity, triggered activity, or reentry.
Finally, extra beats called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are not usually picked up by blood pressure (BP) cuffs, since the PVCs don't cause a significant pulse.
Q: I am an 83-year-old great-grandmother and was diagnosed with benign premature ventricular contractions 40 years ago.
Asymptomatic Premature Ventricular Contractions or Premature Atrial Contractions.
DEFINITE included patients with mild to moderate heart failure with an ejection fraction of less than or equal to 35 percent and either an intermittent too-rapid heart beat or frequent abnormal or premature ventricular contractions.
Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) originating from the ventricular outflow tract (OT) are types of idiopathic ventricular arrhythmia (VA).

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