Extrasystole

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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 ?
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between levels of anxiety and burnout and the prevalence of atrial extrasystoles (AESs) and ventricular extrasystoles (VESs) among critical care nurses.
Holter ECG device Syneflash Card MinHR/24h revealed findings composed of an hour intervals of the heart-rate, pause, missed beats, supraventricular extrasystoles (isolated and couplet), ventricular extrasystoles (isolated and couplet), total extrasystoles and ST segment deviations each.
The other developed a Brugada ECG and frequent ventricular extrasystoles that evolved into ventricular tachycardia and repetitive ventricular arrhythmias (electrical storm) (20).

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