Patients with heart rhythm disturbances often present with palpitations.  Conditions associated with palpitations include premature ventricular contractions.  They are also known as PVCs or ectopics.

Heart rhythm disturbances are when the heart is beating too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia).  Occasionally an abnormality can be detected that might need further investigation in an otherwise healthy person with no symptoms.


The most common symptom that people experience is palpitations. This simply means an awareness of your heart beating. Although this is frequently distressing it is rarely dangerous and is not necessarily associated with a heart rhythm abnormality.

Palpitations can be associated with breathlessness, fatigue, chest discomfort, light-headedness, and even rarely blackouts. Occasionally these symptoms can occur in the absence of palpitations.

Premature ventricular contractions are extra heartbeats that begin in one of your heart’s two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing you to feel a fluttering or a skipped beat in your chest.

PVCs rarely cause problems unless they occur again and again over a long period of time. This can lead to PVC-induced cardiomyopathy.  This is a weakening of the heart muscle from too many PVCs.  This can often go away once the premature ventricular contractions are treated.

The British Heart Foundation has published a useful document about Dealing with Abnormal Heart Rhythms.

Discuss symptoms of Premature Ventricular Contractions

When you present with pain, fatigue or blackouts it can be extremely worrying.  Dr David Begley is a Consultant Cardiologist in the UK who specialises in cardiac rhythm management.  This is the investigation and treatment of heart rhythm abnormalities or arrhythmias.

Dr Begley aims to quickly identify the cause of these worrying symptoms and provide reassurance or offer appropriate guided treatment.

To make an appointment please contact Dr David Begley’s Personal Assistant, Lynn Thomas via Phone on 01223 850 423 or email.