Which physical findings are characteristic of ventricular premature complexes (VPCs)?

Updated: Nov 26, 2016
  • Author: Jatin Dave, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Jose M Dizon, MD  more...
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Answer

VPCs frequently are associated with variable or decreased intensity of heart sounds. An augmented beat following a dropped beat is heard frequently. Bounding jugular pulse (cannon a wave) from a loss of atrioventricular (AV) synchrony may be present. The follow-up beat after a VPC is stronger due to the postextrasystolic compensatory pause, allowing greater left ventricular (LV) filling, which usually causes greater intensity of that beat. This is known as extrasystolic potentiation. Conversely, the VPC itself may be underperfused and consequently not perceived by radial pulse, resulting in a spurious documentation of bradycardia.


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