Premature Ventricular Contraction (Multiple) Vs. Ventricular Tachycardia (Non-Sustained) on Your Watch ECG

PVC Vtach ECG
Qaly Heart
Qaly is built by Stanford engineers and cardiologists, including Dr. Marco Perez, a Stanford Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford Cardiac Electrophysiologist, and Co-PI of the Apple Heart Study.

Key Takeaways

Got other questions on PVC or Vtach? See the Qaly guides on PVC and Vtach:

Introduction

Your wrist-worn smartwatch has become more than just a timepiece or fitness tracker — it's a mini, on-the-go electrocardiogram. It provides valuable insights into your heart's rhythms. Today, we compare two irregular heart rhythms: multiple premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (V-tach). Let’s dive in.

What Are Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)?

Premature ventricular contractions occur when the ventricles — the lower chambers of the heart — beat prematurely. In an ECG, this looks like an early, wide, and bizarre-looking QRS complex that is not preceded by a P wave, and often followed by a compensatory pause. Here’s more on what a PVC looks like on your watch ECG.

PVCs read on a Apple Watch ECG through the Qaly app. Notice that the Apple Watch ECG app would've read this entire ECG strip as Sinus Rhythm, if it were not for the extra analysis of the Qaly ECG reader.
PVCs read on an Apple Watch ECG through the Qaly app. Notice that the Apple Watch ECG app would've read this entire ECG strip as Sinus Rhythm, if it were not for the extra analysis of the Qaly ECG reader.

PVCs read on a Samsung Watch ECG through the Qaly app. Notice that the Samsung ECG app made no mention of PVCs on its own.
PVCs read on a Samsung Watch ECG through the Qaly app. Notice that the Samsung ECG app made no mention of PVCs on its own.

What’s Non-Sustained Ventricular Tachycardia?

On the other hand, non-sustained VT is a heart rhythm disorder characterized by a run of three or more beats arising from an ectopic focus within the ventricles at a rate of over 100 beats per minute. It lasts less than 30 seconds and stops without any intervention.

Vtach read on a Fitbit ECG through the Qaly app.
Vtach read on a Fitbit ECG through Qaly's upload ECG report online service.

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On an ECG, VT is represented by consecutive broad and bizarre QRS complexes with a rate over 100 bpm. The complexes may appear uniform (monomorphic) or variable in shape (polymorphic). “Non-sustained” VT lasts less than 30 seconds, whereas “sustained” VT lasts longer. Here’s more on what VT looks like on your watch ECG.

Vtach read on a Apple Watch ECG through the Qaly app. As shown here, the Apple Watch ECG app alone doesn't notify you of Vtach, without the help of the Qaly ECG reader.
Vtach read on an Apple Watch ECG through the Qaly app. As shown here, the Apple Watch ECG app alone doesn't notify you of Vtach, without the help of the Qaly ECG reader.

What’s the Difference Between Multiple PVCs and Non-Sustained VT?

When comparing PVCs vs VT, it’s important to understand that both rhythms are considered abnormal and originate from the ventricles. They both exhibit broad and bizarre QRS complexes on an ECG, but their frequency and duration distinguish them.

Multiple PVCs are extra beats that may be felt as a fluttering sensation or a skipped heartbeat. However, V-tachis a fast, abnormal heart rate that can cause lightheadedness, palpitations, or even loss of consciousness in severe cases.

While multiple PVCs can be benign in a healthy heart, they may also suggest underlying heart disease. Non-sustained VT, even though it stops on its own, may indicate serious heart conditions and increases the risk of sustained V-tach, which is a medical emergency.

Remember, an ECG on your watch can provide valuable data, but it does not replace a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare provider. Always consult with your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in your heart rhythm. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!

Still Not Sure if It’s Multiple PVCs or Non-Sustained VT 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!

Wondering if it's PVCs or V-Tach? On the Qaly app, human experts will interpret your ECGs for PVCs and V-Tach within minutes. Get started for free today.

Try free, cancel any time
Try Qaly for Free
App Store - Download Qaly | ECG Reader
Try Qaly for Free
Google Play - Download Qaly | ECG Reader
Try Qaly for Free
3 days free, cancel any time
QALY app - ecg reviews, ecg reader, ecg interpretations, review your ecg

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Wondering if it's PVCs or V-Tach? On the Qaly app, human experts will interpret your ECGs for PVCs and V-Tach within minutes. Get started for free today.

Try Qaly for Free