Ectopic Beats: How Many Count?

Rupert FG Simpson,1 Jessica Langtree,2 *Andrew RJ Mitchell2

1. King’s College Hospital, London, UK
2. Jersey General Hospital, Jersey, UK
*Correspondence to mail@jerseycardiologist.com

Disclosure: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
Received: 07.09.16 Accepted: 04.09.17
Citation: EMJ Cardiol. 2017;5[1]:88-92.

Abstract

Premature atrial and ventricular contractions, or ectopic beats, are frequently detected on routine electrocardiogram monitoring. They are often considered to be benign with no pathological significance; however, the literature suggests that higher ectopic burdens may have clinical importance. This paper reviews the current literature and provides the treating physician with an understanding of when ectopic beats should be deemed significant and when treatment may be appropriate.

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