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What is premature ventricular contraction (PVC)?

Premature ventricular contraction (PVC) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. The heart’s rhythm (heartbeat) is regulated by natural electrical impulses that travel through the heart muscle. These impulses tell the heart’s chambers when to contract.

In PVC, the ventricles (lower heart chambers) generate an early impulse that causes the heart to beat earlier than normal, resulting in irregularity in the heart rhythm. The cause of PVC should be investigated as it may reflect heart muscle disease.

If the occur singly and only occasionally, PVCs are usually considered to be benign in children and typically do not require therapy. They may be more prevalent after some types of heart surgeries, particularly if surgery involves the ventricles. In this situation, cardiologists will evaluate for the development of more serious ventricular arrhythmias. More frequent PVCs may require treatment with medications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.