Electrocardiograms (ECGs) are essential tools used to assess the electrical activity of the heart. With the advancements in technology, smartwatches now offer the convenience of monitoring your heart's rhythms through ECG readings. In this article, we will explore two distinct heart rhythms: premature ventricular contraction (couplet) and ventricular tachycardia (non-sustained) and how they may appear on your watch ECG. Let’s dive in!
What’s a PVC Couplet?
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 Ventricular Tachycardia?
Ventricular Tachycardia (VT or V-tach), on the other hand, is a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. It often results in a heart rate of 100 to 250 beats per minute, which can be life-threatening. On an ECG, V-tach shows a rapid, regular rhythm with wide and bizarre QRS complexes, often overshadowing the P waves.
“Non-sustained” V-tach lasts less than 30 seconds, whereas “sustained” V-tach lasts longer. Here’s more on what V-tach looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s the Difference Between PVC Couplet and V-tach?
When comparing premature ventricular contraction (couplet) and ventricular tachycardia (non-sustained), we find both rhythms involve rapid ventricular contractions. However, the key difference lies in the duration of the abnormal rhythm. PVC couplets are relatively brief and usually considered benign. On the other hand, non-sustained V-tach is more prolonged but still self-terminates.
While PVC couplets are generally harmless and may not require immediate medical attention, non-sustained V-tach warrants evaluation by a healthcare professional to determine if any underlying heart conditions or health issues are contributing to the abnormal rhythm.
It is important to remember that your watch ECG provides valuable insights into your heart's rhythm, but it is not a replacement for professional medical advice. If you notice any irregularities in your ECG readings or have concerns about your heart health, consult with a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!
Still Not Sure if It’s PVC Couplet or V-Tach on Your ECG?
Differentiating between PVC vs VT 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!