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Am J Med Sci. 2012 Feb;343(2):150-4. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31821d677b.

Ventricular ectopic beats: an overview of management considerations.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, 65212, USA.


Ventricular ectopic beats are commonly seen in daily clinical practice. Majority of them being asymptomatic, some can cause symptoms. In a normal heart, their occurrence is of no clinical significance. However, in the presence of an underlying heart disease, they signify a susceptibility toward more sinister arrhythmias. In some patients, they are triggered by the same mechanism as ventricular tachycardia and these can be cured by catheter ablation. Recent reports on the use of catheter ablation in cases where focal ventricular ectopics are found to trigger ventricular fibrillation. Clinical evaluation and investigations are important in assessing patients with ventricular ectopic beats so that appropriate treatment can be targeted when necessary. This article discusses the current knowledge and practice in this commonly encountered clinical problem.

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