Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: vetricular | ectopy | tachycardia | heartbeat | irregular

Help Me With Ventricular Ectopy

Wednesday, 25 Jan 2012 09:36 AM

Question: I have been diagnosed with ventricular ectopy. Can you tell me about this condition? Is there a cure?


Dr. Hibberd's answer:

Your heart rate is controlled by electrical signals transmitted across the heart muscle. When something goes wrong and signals are sent too rapidly, tachycardia can occur. Most often, ventricular tachycardia is caused by other heart problems such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, an enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy) or heart valve disease. It also can develop after a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or after heart surgery because of scar tissue that forms on the heart. Treatment is directed at slowing the heart down, so it does not suddenly stop. You can discuss the two treatment options available, namely, radiofrequency catheter ablation and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Ectopy is a term for an irregular beat.
Isolated ectopy is often dealt with in the office, while frequent ectopy belongs in the emergency department, especially if you have symptoms with it.
Isolated non-recurring asymptomatic atrial ectopy usually is not threatening to heart function unless if is organized into a frequent or rapid tachycardia. Then it may need termination with medications or rarely cardioversion when persistant.
Ventricular ectopy refers to irregularity from ventricular foci and is treated more seriously.
Frequent ventricular ectopy may precede cardiac arrest and more serious life threatening heart rhythms, and is normally aggressively managed.
Cardiac muscle irritability, damage, and elecrolyte disorders often cause ectopy, so treating the cause urgently for ventricular ectopy is important to reduce the incidence of ventricular tachycardia, or cardiac arrest. Some patients with ectopy may be offerred ablation procedures when medications are not curative or when the ectopy is believed to be life threatening and recurrent, but the vast majority can be managed with medication adjustment and rarely cardioversion.
If you have ectopy, be sure to consult your cardiologist or emergency physician for advice on what to do



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Dr-Hibberd
Ventricular ectopy is the irregular beating of the heart.
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2012-36-25
Wednesday, 25 Jan 2012 09:36 AM
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