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Premature Ventricular Complexes (PVC's) - Ventricular Rhythms.

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Description 1

  • PVC’s may occur for a number of different reasons i.e., diet, fatigue, stress, disease, ischemia to name a few.
  • Premature complexes frequently occur in bradycardic rhythms, but may occur almost any time.
  • PVC’s occur when an early electrical impulse occurs from a location in either ventricle.

ventricular ecg image 6

Description 2

  • This early impulse causes an early cardiac complex which disrupts the underlying rhythm.
  • The locus of stimulation being different, results in a change in the morphology of the cardiac complex.
  • Note the absence of P wave and the wide, bizarre QRS complex.
  • PVC’s can occur occasionally or frequently.
  • PVC’s can be observed with or without a pattern
ventricular ecg image 109

Practice Strip

ventricular ecg image 110

Analyze this tracing using the five steps of rhythm analysis.

Show Answer
  • Rhythm: Irregular
  • Rate: 60
  • P Wave: upright and uniform, absent on early complex
  • PR interval: 0.16 sec
  • QRS: 0.08 sec, early complex wide and bizarre 0.16 sec
  • Interpretation: Sinus Rhythm with PVC

Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Thomas O'Brien
Medically reviewed by Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD, Cardiology
Last Update: 11/8/2020

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