Premature Atrial Contraction (PAC)
Figure 1: ECG Strip
Table 1: ECG Characteristics
- PACs are a normal electrophysiological phenomenon and do not usually require any treatment. Patients with PACs complain of palpitations and "a sense of the heart 'skipping a beat.' "
- PACs mostly occur in healthy individuals without heart disease. Stress or stimulants such as caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can increase the frequency of PACs. Although seldom, PACs can also be a sign of underlying heart condition in the atrium.
- Although most PACs are benign, they may change into atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, or supraventricular tachycardia.
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