Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are abnormalities in your heart's rhythm.
PVCs are common and often not serious. But, they could be a sign of a heart rhythm disorder.
A premature ventricular contraction (PVC) happens when a heartbeat occurs earlier than it should, interrupting your heart's normal rhythm. It feels like your heart skipped a beat or fluttered.
Your heart's lower chambers beat early, followed by a pause, and then a stronger heartbeat.
PVCs are common and happen to most people at some point in their lives. Most PVCs are mild and not serious.
The causes of PVCs aren't known, but some factors seem to increase the risk such as:
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute's Cardiac Electrophysiology Program is the largest of its kind in western Pennsylvania.
We take a team approach to treating premature ventricular contractions and other heart rhythm disorders.
To consult with a UPMC heart rhythm expert, request an appointment online or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484).
The main symptom of a PVC is a feeling of a fluttering in your heart or a skipped heartbeat. It may feel like a small pounding in your chest.
You may also notice your heart beating more than you normally do.
You should seek emergency care if you have fluttering in your heart along with:
These could be signs of a more serious heart problem.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam to learn if there's a more serious heart condition causing your PVCs.
To help confirm a PVC diagnosis, he or she might order imaging scans or other tests such as:
For an appointment with a UPMC expert, request an appointment online or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484).
Most PVCs don't need treatment and resolve on their own if you have no other heart problems.
To help ease or eliminate PVC symptoms, try:
Your doctor may prescribe medicine if you're at risk of getting a more serious heart rhythm disorder, such as arrhythmia.
To make an appointment with a UPMC expert for PVC care, complete our HVI appointment request form or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484).