Relationship between burden of premature ventricular complexes and left ventricular function

Heart Rhythm. 2010 Jul;7(7):865-9. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2010.03.036. Epub 2010 Mar 27.


Background: Frequent idiopathic premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) can result in a reversible form of left ventricular dysfunction. The factors resulting in impaired left ventricular function are unclear. Whether a critical burden of PVCs can result in cardiomyopathy has not been determined.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine a cutoff PVC burden that can result in PVC-induced cardiomyopathy.

Methods: In a consecutive group of 174 patients referred for ablation of frequent idiopathic PVCs, the PVC burden was determined by 24-hour Holter monitoring, and transthoracic echocardiograms were used to assess left ventricular function. Receiver-operator characteristic curves were constructed based on the PVC burden and on the presence or absence of reversible left ventricular dysfunction to determine a cutoff PVC burden that is associated with left ventricular dysfunction.

Results: A reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (mean 0.37 +/- 0.10) was present in 57 of 174 patients (33%). Patients with a decreased ejection fraction had a mean PVC burden of 33% +/- 13% as compared with those with normal left ventricular function 13% +/- 12% (P <.0001). A PVC burden of >24% best separated the patient population with impaired as compared with preserved left ventricular function (sensitivity 79%, specificity 78%, area under curve 0.89) The lowest PVC burden resulting in a reversible cardiomyopathy was 10%. In multivariate analysis, PVC burden (hazard ratio 1.12, 95% confidence interval 1.08 to 1.16; P <.01) was independently associated with PVC-induced cardiomyopathy.

Conclusion: A PVC burden of >24% was independently associated with PVC-induced cardiomyopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathies / epidemiology
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology*
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / complications*
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / physiopathology