What Kinds of Arrhythmias Produce Palpitations?Most people with palpitations have some type of cardiac arrhythmia. Virtually any arrhythmia can cause palpitations, but the most common causes of palpitations are premature atrial complexes (PACs), premature ventricular complexes (PVCs), episodes of atrial fibrillation and episodes of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). However, in some cases palpitations can be caused by more dangerous arrhythmias, such as ventricular tachycardia. Life-threatening arrhythmias are usually seen in patients with underlying heart disease, so it is especially important to identify the cause of palpitations in individuals who have underlying heart disease or who have significant risk factors for heart disease (such as family history, smoking history, high cholesterol, overweight, sedentary lifestyle). Not all people who report palpitations have heart arrhythmias. The same sorts of symptoms can be caused by musculoskeletal problems or gastrointestinal disturbances, such as gas.
Don’t Let These Mistakes Happen to YouDoctors commonly make two mistakes in their attempt to determine the cause of palpitations:
- They often miss the arrhythmia that is causing them.
- And they often attribute the palpitations to an arrhythmia that is actually not causing them.