Fetal premature ventricular contractions
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Fetal premature ventricular contractions (FPVC) are a type ectopic ventricular contractions detected in utero. They are a type of extrasystoles.
Premature ventricular contractions are often followed by a compensatory pause due to the refractory state of the conduction system; the next conducted impulse arrives at twice the normal interval, and the continuity of the rhythm is not broken.
FPVC's can be associated with:
- myocarditis: fetal cardiomyopathy
- cardiac tumors (e.g cardiac rhabdomyoma)
- long QT syndrome 3
- electrolyte imbalances 3
- complete AV block with slow ventricular escape rhythm
Most isolated FPVC's usually resolve spontaneously prior to delivery and those that persist into neonatal period usually resolve within 6 weeks. They can however rarely result in more complex arrhythmias (supraventricular tachycardia in 0.4-1% of cases).