Heart health is now more within our grasp than ever, thanks to the innovative electrocardiogram (ECG) feature in our smartwatches. These wearables have proven their mettle in identifying various heart rhythms, including abnormalities such as premature atrial contractions (PAC) and premature ventricular contractions (PVC). In this piece, we aim to break down PAC couplet vs PVC couplet, two distinctive rhythms that may appear on your ECG watch. Let’s dive in!
What’s a PAC Couplet?
Premature atrial contractions are early beats that originate from the atria — the upper chambers of the heart. When they occur in pairs, they are referred to as a couplet. While occasional PACs are usually benign, frequent PACs can sometimes indicate underlying heart disease or trigger other arrhythmias.
What’s a PVC Couplet?
On the other hand, a PVC couplet refers to the condition where two consecutive premature ventricular contractions occur without a normal heartbeat in between. On an ECG, this manifests as two successive abnormal, usually wider, and different-shaped QRS complexes without a normal P wave in between. Here’s more on what a PVC couplet looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s the Difference Between PAC Couplet and PVC Couplet?
When looking at PAC couplet vs PVC couplet, the primary differences revolve around the source and presentation of these rhythms. PAC couplets stem from the atria, whereas PVC couplets originate in the ventricles. This difference in origin results in unique ECG representations, with PAC couplets affecting the P wave and PVC couplets altering the QRS complex.
Both rhythms can be symptomatic or asymptomatic, depending on the individual. While they can be seen in healthy hearts, frequent or symptomatic occurrences may indicate underlying heart conditions. Some common symptoms include palpitations, a sensation of skipped or extra heartbeats, or feeling lightheaded.
While your watch ECG can help identify these rhythms, it is not a substitute for a full-scale ECG or a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional. If you regularly notice these couplets on your ECG or experience accompanying symptoms, it's crucial to consult with a medical professional. With a clear understanding of PAC couplet vs PVC couplet, you're better equipped to keep a close eye on your heart's rhythm and take timely action when necessary. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!
Still Not Sure if It’s Premature Atrial Contraction (Couplet) or Premature Ventricular Contraction (Couplet) on Your ECG?
Differentiating between PAC couplet vs PVC couplet on your ECG can be tricky. If you’re still looking for help interpreting your ECG further, check out the Qaly app on App Store or Play Store. On Qaly, human experts will interpret your ECGs within minutes, day or night. Try out the Qaly app for free today!