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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Palpitations? PACs? "AF" history.

 Positron - Sun May 15, 2005 1:57 am

34 yo male.
Had an episode of palpitations/rapid heart rate in 1987 after intense stress and high caffiene intake. Tried to ignore the symptoms overnight but finally was taken to the doctor after waking up the next morning still pounding away. The doctor said it was AF and put me in the hospital, but a traumatic I.V. insertion event (4 missed attempts) left me in a cold sweat and converted me back to normal rhythm. Was sent home after being checked out. From then on was in NSR except for feeling occasional 'twitches' usually during exercise.

4 years later during college a hard impact from falling out of a chair triggered another intense episode, very rapid and irregular beating. ER followed typical conversion attempt procedures (ice water on face, etc) only administering drug to slow heart rate until doctors could check me out. Was put on rhythmol and kept in the hospital for 2-3 days before converting to NSR. Was prescribed rythmol and lanoxin(?) and remained on it until prescription ran out, carried on with life. Again, remained in NSR except for the occasional 'twitches'.

12 years of NSR / occasional 'twitches' - these feel like going into an irregular beat just like the "AF" episodes, but only for the space of 1-2 beats. Once every year or so would have an episode that would last 5 seconds at most. Occasionally would have 'bad days' when 'twitches' would occur several times. Have never had any side effects such as passing out or dizziness. This was true even through 4 years of heavy smoking and caffiene intake.

2003 an episode was triggered again during stretching, leaning back and raising my arms overhead. Beat was again irregular/rapid like prior events. ER used drugs to attempt conversion but failed, new Dr. assigned began tests and later said my heart looked healthy. At one point I bumped my I.V. and caused it to bleed, resulting in queasyness and lightheadedness. This progressed to passing out wherein my heart was stopped for 6 seconds before starting again on its own. At first the doctors began discussing a pacemaker, but eventually I assume they were satisfied that it was due to the strong drug keeping my heart rate down combined with the vagal response, and not that I had passed out because of the stoppage. Had been kept on amiodarone and finally converted the next day after squatting to pick something up.

After release I remained on amiodarone through followup (I don't recall that the doctor ever specifically gave a diagnosis of his own, or if it was assumed it was "AF" like I had before). 6 months later I wore a holter monitor which capture 2 of my 'twitch' events. Unfortunately my appointment to discuss the results was cancelled and I moved shortly after. Surgery for an unrelated condition a year later went smoothly and they saw no signs of AF or palpitations.

Again I carried on after the amiodarone ran out. Normally feeling the occasional 'twitches' as before.

Lately, the twitches have become very frequent. Numerous every day, some worse some better. I have still never experienced any rapid heart rates, just the irregular 'twitches', nor any dizziness, loss of consciousness, etc. I have an appointment planned for new doctors but it's still quite a way off.

I'm wondering what the implications of the increased 'twitches' (palpitations?) are, and if I should consider going to the ER if I have a particularly numerous occurence.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:30 am

User avatar Try to get a copy of that report - most hospitals are required by law to keep patient information for 10 years. It would be very valuable to show your new doctor, in fact necessary to diagnose your "twitches". There is no way to diagnose them over the net, an ECG having an event is necessary for a diagnosis.

I recommend you stay away from caffeine completely, no alcohol or surgary foods, get at least 8-9 hours of sleep and on a strict schedule, excercise regularly and try to keep stess at a minimum. The fact that they only last a second or two indicates PVC or PAC and all of these factors can trigger them, but as I said, this is NOT a diagnosis. PACs and PVCs are not serious.

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