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palpitation(păl'pĭtā`shən), abnormal heartbeat that is often associated with a sensation of fluttering or thumping. The normal heartbeat is not noticeable to the individual. Palpitation may be a symptom of organic heart disease or of other body disorders such as an overactive thyroid gland or anemia. In healthy persons palpitation can be brought on by undue exertion, shock, excitement, or stimulants.
a heart action that produces a disagreeable awareness in those suffering from various diseases, including diseases of the cardiovascular, nervous, and endocrine systems, as well as in healthy individuals under considerable physical and emotional strain. Palpitation is primarily associated with an increase in the number of heart contractions per minute, for example, with overstrain or paroxysmal tachycardia. It is also associated with rhythmic disorders of contractility, including extrasystole and atrial fibrillation. Therapeutic measures and preventive treatment are determined by the causes of palpitation.