Cardiac ectopy
Ectopic beat is a disturbance of the cardiac rhythm frequently related to the electrical conduction system of the heart
Electrical conduction system of the heart
The normal intrinsic electrical conduction of the heart allows electrical propagation to be transmitted from the Sinoatrial Node through both atria and forward to the Atrioventricular Node. Normal/baseline physiology allows further propagation from the AV node to the ventricle or Purkinje Fibers...

, in which beats arise from fiber or group of fibers outside the region in the heart muscle ordinarily responsible for impulse formation, i.e., the Sinus node. Some patients describe this experience as a 'flip' or a 'jolt' in the chest, while others report dropped or missed beats. Such extrasystoles are more common during periods of stress or debility; they may also be triggered by consumption of some food like alcohol, strong cheese or chocolates, etc.

It is a form of cardiac arrhythmia in which ectopic foci
Ectopic pacemaker
An ectopic pacemaker or ectopic focus is an excitable group of cells that causes a premature heart beat outside the normally functioning SA node of the human heart. Acute occurrence is usually non-life threatening, but chronic occurrence can progress into tachycardia, bradycardia or ventricular...

 within either ventricular
Ventricle (heart)
In the heart, a ventricle is one of two large chambers that collect and expel blood received from an atrium towards the peripheral beds within the body and lungs. The Atria primes the Pump...

 or atrial myocardium, or from finer branches of the electric transduction system, cause additional beats of the heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

. Some medication
A pharmaceutical drug, also referred to as medicine, medication or medicament, can be loosely defined as any chemical substance intended for use in the medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.- Classification :...

s may worsen the condition.

See also

  • Ventricular escape beat
    Ventricular escape beat
    In cardiology a ventricular escape beat is a self-generated electrical discharge initiated by, and causing contraction of, the ventricles of the heart; normally the heart rhythm is begun in the atria of the heart and is subsequently transmitted to the ventricles. The ventricular escape beat follows...

  • Junctional escape beat
    Junctional escape beat
    A junctional escape beat is a delayed heartbeat originating not from the atrium but from an ectopic focus somewhere in the AV junction. It occurs when the rate of depolarization of the sinoatrial node falls below the rate of the atrioventricular node. This dysrhythmia also may occur when the...

  • Arrhythmia#Origin of impulse
  • Palpitation
    A palpitation is an abnormality of heartbeat that causes a conscious awareness of its beating, whether it is too slow, too fast, irregular, or at its normal frequency. The word may also refer to this sensation itself...

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