If you ever feel that your heart skips a beat, there is a chance that it was a heartbeat that came sooner than you expected. Many people experience this in their lifetime. Physiologically, the heart does not actually skip a beat; it has a premature contraction. These contractions are of two types, premature atrial contractions – PAC or premature ventricular contractions – PVC.

Commonly, these contractions are prevalent amongst children and teenagers and generally considered normal since they resolve with time, however, it is best to schedule an appointment and get the irregularities checked. Read more about PAC and PVC in this blog to get a better picture of the situation.

Premature Atrial Contraction – PAC

The human heart has 4 chambers; the upper two are atria and lower ventricles. If the impulse is sent to the atria earlier, your heart may undergo contraction, causing premature atrial contractions. The sinoatrial node regulates the heartbeat during each sinus rhythm; when your heart undergoes PAC, a different area of the atria depolarizes before the sinus node causing premature contraction or heartbeat.

The exact reason is still unknown. If condition develops in the elderly, there are not many options for treatment; the heart rhythm is only monitored in such PAC individuals.
Commonly, they may feel like a flutter or sudden jolt in the chest, nothing more than that. It is not essential to get treatments for premature ventricular contraction; however, medications like beta-blockers may be used if the symptoms are more than just a flutter.

Premature Ventricular Contraction – PVC

PVC is the same as PAC; the only difference is the impulse area. When contraction takes place in the atria, it’s PAC, and when it travels in the lower chamber of the heart, it’s PVC.
Any shift of your heart from a regular rhythm pattern is known as arrhythmia; PAC and PVA are some kinds of this condition.


Besides flutter in the chest, here are some other symptoms that one may experience in this condition:

  • Exhaustion after exercising
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness

Possible Reasons for Developing Premature Atrial Contractions

PACs are most likely to occur because of the following:

  • Gestation or pregnancy
  • Heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Certain medications for conditions such as asthma or cold
  • Smoking
  • Dehydration

Mostly, this condition poses no health risks, but sometimes may work as an indicator for the following heart conditions:

Schedule an Appointment

In the case of occasional PAC, there is no need for medical attention. However, if they are frequent and symptoms interfere with your daily life, get down to Epic Heart and Vascular Center for affordable treatment from the best Houston cardiologist. Call now at 832 432 1951 Houston and 832 952 1951 Willowbrook for an appointment.