University of Louisville cardiologist Roberto Bolli, MD, led the stem cell study that tested using patients' own heartstem cells to help their hearts recover from heart failure. Though that trial was preliminary, the results look promising -- and may one day lead to a cure for heart failure.
Here, Bolli talks about what this work means and when it might become an option for patients.
Early heartbeats can happen in the upper chambers (atria) or lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. With PVCs, the ventricles beat early. An extra beat is followed by a pause and then a stronger heartbeat. It's this stronger heartbeat that creates the feeling of a skipped beat or a flutter.
In people who have healthy hearts, occasional PVCs are nothing to worry about. They usually go away on their own. They don't need treatment. Talk to your doctor if you have other symptoms along with PVCs, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
If you have a known heart problem, such as heart failure or heart disease, PVCs may be a sign that a dangerous heart rhythm could occur. So if you have a heart problem, talk to your doctor if you feel any change in your heartbeat.
The cause of PVCs usually isn't known. But the chance of having PVCs can be increased by:
Having too much or too little of certain minerals (electrolytes) in your body.