What are ventricular ectopic beats?
Definition A ventricular ectopic beat (VEB) is an extra heartbeat originating in the lower chamber of the heart. This beat, also called a premature ventricular contraction (PVC), occurs before the beat triggered by the heart’s normal function. Description Ventricular ectopic beats are common and do not indicate a problem in people without heart disease. However, if a person has aortic stenosis, heart failure, or a previous heart attack, VEBs may be followed by ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, which can lead to sudden death. Causes and symptoms Although the origin of a VEB is well documented, the exact cause or causes are not well understood. Some physicians believe the beat is caused by a trigger of specific origin, while other physicians believe the beat is random. Occasional ventricular ectopic beats occur in healthy people. If there is no evidence of heart disease, there is little or no danger to the individual. A single ventricular ectopic beat has very little effect on th