Are premature ventricular contractions in patients without apparent structural heart disease really safe?
Premature ventricular complexes (PVC) are considered benign when they occur in patients without apparent structural heart disease. They usually originate from the right, or less commonly, left ventricular outflow tract. Their suppression was not beneficial in patients with heart disease like myocardial infarction and cardiomyopathies. Recently it has been shown that their suppression medically or by ablation, improved the left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. This led to the hypothesis that they may contribute to this LV dysfunction especially when they are particularly frequent (> 20000 per day). Because of some overlap with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, the evaluation in patients without apparent heart disease should consider an magnetic resonance imaging if the echocardiography was not able to help in diagnosis especially when there is a suspicion.
Patients without structural heart disease and low-to modest PVC burdens do not always require treatment.
When necessary, treatment for PVCs involves beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or other antiarrhythmic
drugs and catheter ablation in selected cases. Catheter ablation can be curative, but it is typically reserved
for drug-intolerant or medically refractory patients with a high PVC burden.
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