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Diagnostic and prognostic significance of premature ventricular complexes in community and hospital-based participants: A scoping review.

  • Author(s): Suba, Sukardi;
  • Fleischmann, Kirsten E;
  • Schell-Chaple, Hildy;
  • Prasad, Priya;
  • Marcus, Gregory M;
  • Hu, Xiao;
  • Pelter, Michele M
  • et al.


While there are published studies that have examined premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) among patients with and without cardiac disease, there has not been a comprehensive review of the literature examining the diagnostic and prognostic significance of PVCs. This could help guide both community and hospital-based research and clinical practice.


Scoping review frameworks by Arksey and O'Malley and the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) were used. A systematic search of the literature using four databases (CINAHL, Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science) was conducted. The review was prepared adhering to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Extension for Scoping Review (PRISMA-ScR).


A total of 71 relevant articles were identified, 66 (93%) were observational, and five (7%) were secondary analyses from randomized clinical trials. Three studies (4%) examined the diagnostic importance of PVC origin (left/right ventricle) and QRS morphology in the diagnosis of acute myocardial ischemia (MI). The majority of the studies examined prognostic outcomes including left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, arrhythmias, ischemic heart diseases, and mortality by PVCs frequency, burden, and QRS morphology.


Very few studies have evaluated the diagnostic significance of PVCs and all are decades old. No hospital setting only studies were identified. Community-based longitudinal studies, which make up most of the literature, show that PVCs are associated with structural and coronary heart disease, lethal arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, stroke, all-cause and cardiac mortality. However, a causal association between PVCs and these outcomes cannot be established due to the purely observational study designs employed.

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