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Omar AR, Lee LC, Seow SC, Teo SG, Poh KK
Correspondence: Dr Abdul Razakjr Omar, firstname.lastname@example.org
How important are PVCs and what should we do about them? PVCs are not a disease in themselves, but a marker of possible underlying conditions that may increase the risk of cardiac death. They serve as a flag to alert us to exclude structural heart disease, the presence of which is the strongest predictor of adverse events. However, it is important to know that PVCs are common in people with no structural heart disease. In this situation, the prognosis is generally excellent. Suppression of PVCs with antiarrhythmic medication is not indicated routinely, unless the patient is symptomatic or at risk of tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy owing to the very high frequency of PVCs. Where pharmacological therapy has failed, there is now the option of radiofrequency ablation for elimination of frequent symptomatic PVCs. The ECG is a simple yet useful tool to improve risk assessment, especially in those with known cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: premature ventricular complex, sudden cardiac death, syncope
Singapore Med J 2011; 52(10): 707-714