Supraventricular premature beats

Last updated: July 12, 2022

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Supraventricular premature beats are atrial contractions triggered by ectopic foci rather than the sinoatrial node. They arise within the atria (atrial premature beats) or, through retrograde conduction, in the atrioventricular node (junctional premature beats). Premature beats may be found in healthy individuals as well as patients with underlying heart disease. Certain triggers, e.g., alcohol, smoking or electrolyte imbalances, may also contribute to the condition. Premature beats do not significantly impair cardiac output on their own; however, they may lead to more severe forms of arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation. Unless patients exhibit severe symptoms (e.g., tachycardia), those experiencing premature beats do not require treatment.

Atrial contractions are triggered by ectopic foci (not the sinoatrial node), which arise from within the atria (atrial premature beats) or, through retrograde conduction, in the atrioventricular node (junctional premature beats).

Atrial premature beats

Junctional premature beats

  • Treatment is not required in asymptomatic individuals without underlying structural heart defects.
  • Underlying conditions, e.g., electrolyte imbalances, should be treated.
  • Symptomatic patients
  • Mostly benign
  • Slightly increased risk of artial fibrillation/atrial flutter [1]

We list the most important complications. The selection is not exhaustive.

  1. Prasitlumkum N, Rattanawong P, Limpruttidham N, et al. Frequent premature atrial complexes as a predictor of atrial fibrillation: Systematic review and meta-analysis.. J Electrocardiol. undefined; 51 (5): p.760-767. doi: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2018.05.012 . | Open in Read by QxMD

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