Premature beats

Most common form of cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice.

The most common cause of irregular pulse and palpitations.

Frequently unassociated with symptoms.

Secondary to electrical depolarization of the myocardium occurring earlier than the sinus impulse.

Most instances related to enhanced automaticity mechanisms, but reentry and triggered activity may be responsible.

Ref2242ed to as premature complexes.

Frquently occur in organic heart disease, but can be present in the absence of structural heart disease, particularly in the elderly.

May be precipitated by and can increase the frequency by ischemia or congestive heart failure.

Can occur with or be provoked by electrolyte disturbances, acid-base abnormalities, drug use, alcohol exposure, metabolic abnormalities, thyroid disorders, pulmonary disease, fever, infections and states with increased catecholamine levels.

Premature beats named for the site of origin of the electrical depolarization: Premature atrial complex, premature junctional complex and premature ventricular complex.

The electrocardiogram helps to determine the timing of the premature beats, its site of origin and the nature of the complex.

Premature beats that occur after every other normal beat is ref2242ed to as bigeminy.

Trigeminy refers to premature beat after a sequence of two normal beats.

Quadrgeminy refers to premature beat after a sequence of three normal beats.

Couplets refers to two successive premature beats.

Triplets refers to three successive premature beats.

Premature atrial contractions is the most common atrial arrhythmia and it can originate at any site in the atria.

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