Which lab studies are indicated in the workup of premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)?

Updated: Jan 13, 2017
  • Author: James E Keany, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

In young, healthy patients without concerning concomitant symptoms, laboratory tests are not typically necessary. The following diagnostic measures may be necessary, depending on the patient's history and underlying illness(es):

  • Obtain serum electrolyte levels, in particular potassium levels; consider checking the magnesium level, especially in patients with low potassium levels
  • In selected patients, a drug screen may be helpful
  • For patients taking medication with known proarrhythmic effects (eg, digoxin, theophylline), drug levels may be useful

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