Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) And Nonsustained Ventricular Tachycardia (NSVT)

So, you have been diagnosed with PVCs or NSVT, what does that mean?

PVCs are extra heartbeats that come from the lower chambers of the heart.  NSVT is 3 or more PVCs in a row lasting less than 30 seconds.

Why do people get PVCs or NSVT?

Smoking, caffeine, alcohol, illicit drugs, structural heart abnormalities, infiltrative and inflammatory heart conditions, coronary heart disease, heart valve disease, electrolyte imbalances, low oxygen levels, scarring of the heart muscle, and non-cardiac conditions (ex: thyroid disease).  Sometimes people get PVCs and NSVT for no known reason.

Are these Dangerous?

PVCs typically are not dangerous but can potentially cause damage to the heart over time if you are having a lot.  NSVT is not dangerous but is a potential marker for the development of sustained ventricular arrhythmias, which are dangerous.

 Signs & Symptoms of PVCs or NSVT

What should I do if I am experiencing an episode of PVCs or NSVT?

If you’ve had this problem before and it feels similar to past ones, and you feel okay, you can do your normal activities.  Pay attention to how your body feels and rest if you need to. You can try some relaxing exercises like meditation or deep breathing. Take note of how long the problem lasts, how you feel during the episode(s), and if you’re having episodes more or less often than before. Tell your doctor about all these things when you see them next.

Symptoms of NSVT or PVCs that you should call your provider about:

Symptoms of NSVT to go to the ER for:

How is it Diagnosed?

 How is it Treated?


Invasive procedure:

Cardiac ablation