Can a run of three PVCs in someone with a structurally normal heart ever mean something concerning?

PVC stands for premature ventricular contraction, and some people experience or “feel” three in a row, as in thump … THUMP, thump … THUMP, thump … THUMP.

A run of three PVCs in a row leaves many people quite worried, even if their echocardiogram reveals a structurally normal heart.

“The more PVCs in a row, the more likely they are pathologic,” says cardiologist Norman E. Lepor, MD, Co-director, Cardiovascular Imaging, Westside Medical Imaging and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA.

“Three or more PVCs in a row are defined as non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, and an evaluation for underlying disease is mandatory when they occur,” explains Dr. Lepor.

What if the echocardiograph shows a structurally normal heart?

“If the heart is structurally normal you need to also evaluate for metabolic abnormalities such as electrolyte disorders (calcium, magnesium, potassium) and electrical abnormalities on ECG such as long QT syndrome.”

Don’t sit around in fear all day; make an appointment with a cardiologist and get some tests done.

Having performed over 4,000 coronary angiograms and angioplasties, Dr. Lepor has focused on prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease. 
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  

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