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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor
Category: Cardiology
Satisfied Customers: 58375
Experience:  Cardiology Expert
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I have been plagued by ectopic heartbeats over the last 6

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I have been plagued by ectopic heartbeats over the last 6 months and, once, got a very fast heartbeat (up to 200 bpm) for around 8 seconds. I went to see my GP who arranged a 24 ECG for me to check if I have an arrythmia. The ECG came back fine, just ventricular ectopics, which my doctor said, is nothing to worry about. I had bloodtests done and all is fine + I had a heart echo approx. 5 years ago which was ok too (this was done as I had chest pains due to costochondritis, initially they thought it was my heart) My GP says there is nothing to worry about and based on the 24 ECG tracing and my blood tests, there is no problem. However, I am able to bring my ectopics on by raising my heart rate (walking fast, running up the stairs, exercise). The ectopics happen during exercise and immediately after cooling down (multiples, sometimes 3 in sequence with a few normal beats between them) What worries me is that, evidently, ectopic heartbeats caused by exercise seem to be of concern and I read on the internet that this should be investigated further. I know my echo was fine 5 years ago but am wondering if I could have developed a heart problem since those 5 years and my ectopics might not be as safe as my gp suggests? I was thinking maybe this is all caused by anxiety as I am getting very worried about all this. However, the fact that I can bring them on with exercise seems to point away from that? I would be most grateful to hear your views and whether I should push for further investigations or accept my GPs opinion and let this go.

Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.
I totally agree with your GP. Even if it is an arrhythmia it is not life threatening. It could be SVT just not captured on the holter.
I think your workup is thorough.
The only other test you might consider is an event monitor. It is a longer holter basically. You could also consider going on a beta blocker to suppress ectopics. That would be fine
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Dr Phil,

Many thanks for your response, it it reassuring.

However, I would like to understand if having a heart echo 5 years ago which showed no problems would still be valid to date and there is no need to have another one? The ectopics do worry me as I can make them come on when my heart rate goes up (running up the stairs, walking briskly, exercise) and I read on the internet ectopics caused by exercise are cause for concern? I do get them when relaxing but much less and exercise seems to aggravate them.

I will go and see my gp about taking medication to stop the ectopics; that seems to be the next logical step. However, I am anxious about this and am afraid I might have developed some sort of heart problem since my echo 5 years ago which is causing these problems? Would another echo + stress ecg be a wise idea or do you think this is not necessary and I am overworrying myself?

My gp did say to come back if I start fainting or if the fast heart rate returns.

Many thanks, ***** *****

It is ok to repeat the echo now if you want but if there was nothing wrong then likely no changes over 5 years
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Dr Phil,


I believe I did rate your services and filled out the questionnaire.


Kind regards,